Journal article

Microwave treatment accelerates solar timber drying

G Brodie

TRANSACTIONS OF THE ASABE | AMER SOC AGRICULTURAL & BIOLOGICAL ENGINEERS | Published : 2007

Abstract

Drying is essential before wood can be used. The tortuosity of the moisture transport path in wood profoundly affects drying speed and timber quality. Solar drying can reduce drying costs and energy consumption while producing high-quality timber. Unfortunately, solar drying is much slower than many other kiln systems. Intense microwave heating rapidly generates steam inside moist wood. The resulting internal pressure selectively ruptures the wood structure, creating radial pathways through which moisture may readily move. This modification process does not dry the wood, but vastly increases its permeability, allowing the wood to dry faster with minimal degradation of the timber quality. Sub..

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University of Melbourne Researchers