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Scion’s core funded experiments on thermal modification of Eucalyptus nitens

By Rosie Sargent, Elisabeth Dunningham, August 2016.

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Executive summary

Laboratory scale trials were carried out on kiln dried E. nitens. This was sourced from Specialty Timber Solutions, and the trees originated from a farm forest in the North Canterbury area. Replication was thirty-nine boards, each cut into three end-matched 500mm long samples.

Using the lab-scale Scion thermal modification kiln, two modification schedules were used. With one schedule, the wood was heated to 185°C and held for 2 hours; with a second, the wood was heated to 210°C and held for 2 hours. A third schedule was to hold wood as an unheated control. No information could be found on durability of thermally modified eucalypts, so it was decided to use a temperature slightly higher than the ThermoWood Association recommendation, to ensure likelihood of a large difference in modification severity between the two schedules.

Changes in wood colour, shrinkage, durability and mechanical properties were assessed using standard methods. More specifically durability was assessed using an in-house screening test.


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