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Drying is removing moisture from the wood, which may be undertaken Properly dried wood has

:
without artificial aids, i.e. air drying; or at controlled temperatures and 1 Reduced shrinkage and greater stability in use.
humidities, i.e. kiln drying. 2 Greater strength.
3 Reduced weight.
4 Better machining and finishing characteristics.
HOW WOOD LOSES MOISTURE
Arrows show proportion of loss from different direction of grain

END GRAIN
1 GREEN 2 DRYING 3 SEASONED
Walls saturated with Walls still saturated Walls partially dry
bound moisture (no with bound moisture (some shrinkage).
shrinkage). Cavities (no shrinkage).Cavities Cavities empty.
full of free moisture. empty of moisture.

FLAT SAWN QUARTER SAWN
(Tangential) (Radial)

FREE WATER
in cell cavity

Cross section

BOUND WATER
in cell wall
Longitudinal section

By proper drying these shrinkage effects are
THE EFFECT OF SHRINKAGE accommodated in the preparation of the timber,
and avoided in the final product.

Tangential shrinkage Radial shrinkage
= 2 x Radial shrinkage

Very little longitudinal EFFECT ON SHAPE AS WOOD DRIES
shrinkage

Air drying gives minimum moisture contents of 18%.
AIR DRYING Timber at 20% or less is immune from decay. KILN DRYING STAGES IN KILN DRYING:
1 Wood Green
Kiln drying gives quicker drying
and lower moisture contents Heat low
can be obtained. Humidity high
Roof keeps rain ALUMINIUM SKINS
VENTS SURROUNDING INSULATION
2 Wood Drying
off Heat increased
Humidity reduced
REVERSIBLE BAFFLES 3 Wood Dried
FAN OR CURTAINS
Heat highest
HEATING Humidity lowest
AND
STEAM
COILS

TROLLEY

SIDE FAN KILN BAFFLE
(SIDE VIEW) EACH SIDE OF CONCRETE FLOOR
FAN
FOUNDATIONS
keep the wood clear of ground
THIN PILING STICKS between each layer (PLAN)
of boards allows air to pass freely TIMBER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION Hughenden Valley, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire HP14 4ND VA 5 © TRADA1985