The method of drying wood is also known as the seasoning of timber. Let us discuss Wood Seasoning in detail as follows.
The timber used in construction is made from a variety of tree species. The timber for construction is selected based on the quality of the wood and the moisture contained in it.
Timber has been used in every construction work as temporary and permanent. Timber can be represented as a type of building material. Which are widely used in various works for various engineering purposes.
Properties such as wood stability, strength, and inertia depend on the moisture content of the wood. Therefore it is necessary to remove sufficient moisture from the wood before using timber as a building material.
What Is Seasoning of Timber?
Generally, any wood has a moisture content of 15%. Wood Seasoning is a process performed on wood.
Moisture from wood is reduced for various purposes by the Wood Seasoning. So by reducing the moisture content of the wood, properties like strength, elasticity, and durability are developed in the wood.
During the seasoning of the timber process, moisture is removed from the wood under the required atmosphere. Moisture cannot be completely removed from the wood during the seasoning of the timber process.
The seasoning of the timber process can reduce the moisture content of freshly cut trees to the appropriate level. Seasoning of timber can therefore be used for various purposes in construction.
Objectives of Seasoning of Timber
The main purposes of seasoning Timber are as follows
- The strength and durability of wood can be increased by the seasoning of the timber process.
- Seasoning timber reduces the weight of timber. So the transfer of Timber can be done easily.
- Seasoning timber increases resistance to fungi and insects.
- Seasoned timber can be easily polished and painted to make it more efficient.
- Properly seasoned wood can be enhanced in good electrical resistance.
- Seasoned timber makes it easy to shape timber properly.
- Various properties of Timber can be modified by Seasoning Timber. These properties increase the resistance to shrinkage, cracking, warping, etc.
6 Types of Wood Seasoning
Seasoning of timber can be done in two types by natural seasoning and artificial seasoning methods.
- Natural seasoning.
- Artificial seasoning.
Natural Seasoning of Timber is done mainly by natural factors like air and water. Types of Natural Seasoning can be classified as follows,
- Air Seasoning of timber
- Water Seasoning of Timber
1. Air Seasoning of Timber
Air seasoning is a method of seasoning wood naturally. This type of method naturally reduces moisture from the wood through air circulation.
In the air seasoning Timber method, the timber is properly arranged under the shade.
The alignment of the timber is properly maintained at a certain distance from the ground by a platform.
Stacking timber on platforms usually requires 300mm above ground level.
This method ensures that the air circulates freely in the stacking timber.
So that the air circulation in the stocked timber naturally reduces the moisture content in the timber
This method of timber seasoning is very slow.
2. Water Seasoning of Timber
In the water seasoning method, timber logs are placed in the river.
Timber logs are properly built into the river with achor support. Timber log stock is properly submerged in water so that the sap in the timber flows with the water.
The sap from this stocked timber is washed away with river water during 2-4 weeks. The logs are then removed and stacked in a dry place for further processing of the timber.
This method of seasoning timber takes less time than the air seasoning method. Thus, the sap is washed from wooden logs in a stream of water naturally by this method.
Advantages of Natural Seasoning of Timber
- Natural Timber Seasoning is beneficial when the demand for timber seasoning is low in the market.
- Low investment is made for natural timber seasoning.
- Natural Timber does not require especially skilled labor. This type of seasoning requires unskill labor to arrange the wooden logs.
Disadvantages of Natural Seasoning of Timber
- In this method, Timber is stacked for a long time. During this time, natural timber seasoning, timber is more likely to be damaged by fungal and insect attacks.
- This type of timber seasoning requires a large area for stacking timber
- Timber is stacked for a long time for this process. because this type of seasoning of timber is based on natural air.
- In natural timber seasoning, part of the wood edge dries quickly due to direct exposure to air. When seasoning, the wood interior takes time.
Artificial Seasoning of Timber
In the artificial method of seasoning wood, the process is completed by properly controlled conditions. This artificial method allows faster seasoning of timber compared to conventional natural methods. For this reason, the artificial method of seasoning timber is widely preferred.
Complete seasoning of Timber can be done in 4-5 days using the artificial seasoning Timber method.
The types of artificial seasoning methods are classified as follows,
1. Seasoning of Timber by Boiling
This type of seasoning timber method is the fastest seasoning method compared to other types of seasoning timber.
In this method, it is not possible to boil a large quantity of wood at once. So very hot steam is passed from the stock of wooden logs in the enclosed space.
This method is used for the seasoning of timber by a well-experienced person. This method is more expensive than other seasoning timbers.
2. Chemical Seasoning of Timber
The chemical seasoning method is used for high-value applications of timber.
The chemical seasoning method is known as the salt seasoning method. In this type of timber seasoning, timber is immersed in a solution such as sodium nitrate or sodium chloride. Salts such as sodium nitrate or sodium chloride are able to remove moisture from the wood.
Chemical Seasoning reduces moisture from timber using hygroscopic chemicals.
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3. Electrical Seasoning of Timber
The electrical seasoning method is the artificial seasoning of timber. This type of method uses electricity to reduce humidity.
For seasoning timber in this method, a high frequency of alternating currents is passed from the wooden logs. In this method, the high voltage current through the field electrode is converted into heat.
The wooden logs are allowed to cool after being supplied by a high voltage current. Thus, the process of timber seasoning is completed.
This type of timber seasoning process is a high-speed method. With this method, the seasoning of timber is completed in 5 to 8 hours.
The electrical seasoning method requires more capital cost.
4. Kiln Timber Seasoning
The Kiln timber seasoning method is a method of artificial timber seasoning. In this method, the timber log is stacked in an airtight chamber for timber seasoning.
Humidity from the wood log is then reduced by circulating hot air in the chamber.
In this method, the wooden logs are properly stacked in the first chamber for seasoning the timber. The temperature inside the chamber is then raised by the heating coil in the chamber.
As the temperature in the chamber increases, the sap from the wood decreases, seasoning of Timber is done by this method.
Well-seasoned and strong timber can be obtained by this method. Thus this method does the seasoning of high-efficiency timber. So that it is widely used.
Advantages of Artificial Seasoning of Timber
- Artificial timber seasoning is able to reduce the moisture content of the wood to the desired level under control.
- This type of timber seasoning, therefore, reduces the chances of fungal and insect attacks.
- Moisture from timber can be reduced quickly through the artificial timber seasoning process. This type of timber seasoning leaves minimal defects in the wood.
- Seasoning timber can be easily painted and polished by the artificial seasoning method.
Disadvantages of Artificial Seasoning of Timber
- The artificial timber seasoning process requires skilled, experienced supervision.
- The process for artificial timber seasoning is expensive. Timber seasoning by this method is non-economical if the market demand for timber is low.
- The artificial timber seasoning process requires proper temperature control.