What You Need to Know About Drying Wood

Most construction companies create partnerships with wood material suppliers because they don’t need to go through the process of drying wood. To the average person, they barely have any idea what wood drying is about. If you take a look at www.kilnservices.co.uk, you will realize that the wood used in construction is not just taken from the dead tree and used right away.

Giving lumber and timber time to sit passively at a given level of humidity for the purpose of obtaining the right EMC may be the least expensive and simplest way of seasoning wood, but this is the slowest as well. The drying times differ depending on the species of wood, the initial level of moisture, density, lumber thickness, processing techniques and ambient conditions.

Kilns and the drying times

The traditional method of air drying timber and lumber is to give it one year of time to dry per inch of its wood thickness. This general rule has obviously only taken a couple of already mentioned variables right into account, but the least is that it is a starting point for people to understand the time investment needed in order to air dry the lumber properly.

In cases where green wood must be processed into boards, especially when it comes to thicker lumber, a kiln is used in order to control its drying process. While there are different kinds of kilns being used for drying lumber, the basic argument here is that it goes through the same process wherein a huge insulated room or chamber is used in order to control and balance humidity, airflow and temperature to efficiently and safely bring down the wood’s moisture content to an acceptable level.

The main benefit of having your own kiln is that with the increased airflow and temperature and at the same time carefully controlling and maintaining its ambient humidity, the wood can be dried more evenly than before, thus minimizing any moisture gradient between the inner core and the outer shell. The uniformity with the drying process of this kiln allows it so and is even capable of drying wood quickly and done so simultaneously, thus avoiding the drying defects that is usually linked with uneven and rapid drying.

Defects with drying

However, kiln drying may even introduce some internal stresses within the wood, especially when it is not done properly, can result into a condition known in this industry as case-hardening. The defect is resulted from when the outer shells starts to dry faster than the process in the core. The shell will try to shrink, but then is inhibited by its core that is still wet. If the difference of moisture between the shell and core is too great, its condition gets reversed and its stretched shell will prohibit the wood’s core from shrinking completely. In extreme cases of case-hardening, the core gets split and goes through that irreversible condition referred to as honeycombing.

You can check out the results of kiln drying wood available at www.kilnservices.co.uk.