Papers presented to the 11th International Conference on Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics, South Africa, 20-23 July 2015.
Wood is heated to temperatures in the range of 180–240°C
in heat-treatment furnaces. At these temperatures, the wood structure undergoes changes leading to better dimensional stability, better resistance to biological attacks, and a darker attractive color. The high-temperature heat treatment of wood is an alternate and ecologically-sound wood preservation process to chemically treated wood. During heat treatment, wood goes through simultaneous heat and mass transfer. The heat is transferred from the hot gases to the wood boards in the furnace. As the temperature of wood increases, water content of wood vaporizes and diffuses out of the boards. At higher temperatures, a number of irreversible structural changes take place in wood cells. The furnace design is important to carry out the heat treatment process uniformly and effectively. A new heat treatment furnace design has been proposed at UQAC and a prototype furnace has been built and tested. Also, a 3D model of the furnace was developed to complement the experimental work and to gain insight into the heat treatment process taking place in the furnace. In this article, the new furnace design and its advantages are discussed. Results of the measurements and predictions of the mathematical model are presented to show the effectiveness of the new furnace design for heat treating standard wood boards as well as pieces of wood with different geometries.
The authors would like to thank the administration of the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi (UQAC), the Foundation of the University (FUQAC), The Natural Sciences and
Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED), Ministère de l’Économie, de l’Innovation et des Exportations (MEIE, previously MDEIE) and SOVAR.