Thermo wood is a material that is already several years in the market and it’s in growing consumption and all wider usefulness focuses on a series of affirmative characteristics. It is a product whose benefits primarily reflect in the exceptional dimensional stability in changing humidity, advanced natural durability and pleasant color. In the future, it can be very good solution for manufacturers of joinery, flooring, garden furniture, prefabricated houses, saunas, etc.
General properties of thermo wood and field of application
Thermo wood is a product obtained by intensive treatment of wood at unusually high temperatures. This heating of wood permanently alters the greater number of its chemical and physical properties. Changes of properties are mainly caused by the thermal degradation of hemicellulose. These changes start to appear already at temperatures of about 150 C° and they are continually continuing with increasing temperature. As a result, the tendency of the original natural wood to warping, swelling and shrinkage is reduced by about 50%. Thermo wood becomes much more stable than normal wood in changeable climatic and environmental conditions. In the production of the thermo wood, are also improved the thermal insulations properties and in coniferous species is removed resin from the wood. According to that the color becomes darker, various enzymes go out of the wood, the wood becomes lighter moisture content balance and pH of wood are reduced. However, it should be noted that some wood strength inevitably diminish. High resistance to moisture and rot makes the thermo wood extraordinary material for outdoor furniture and wooden structures in the gardens and terraces. However, it is not totally adequate for conditions which can cause water supply or prolonged contact with moist soil. Exceptional thermal insulation and the absence of resin also make the thermo wood ideal for warm and moist interiors such as saunas and laundry rooms. Its low moisture content also means that the benches in saunas, made from thermo wood, are hygienically good and less burn the skin than those made of plain wood. In applying for flooring and furniture come particularly to the fore exceptional dimensional stability of thermo wood and his beautiful color. The intense heat treatment leads to the appearance of the whole range of attractive brown shades and tones of thermo wood. Generally, the higher temperature treatment leads to the appearance of darker and richer (more intense) colors.
Practical experience in working with thermo wood
Thermo wood doesn’t have any negative effects on the environment. Any waste arising from the thermo wood can be safely incinerated or destroyed in some other way, without any risk to the environment. Another important advantage from the environmental point is that the wood of almost any tree species can be used in the preparation of the thermo wood. When there is the mechanical process, attention must be directed to the dust that is produced in this way. Since the thermo wood is too dry, its processing is produced fine dust that can easily spread in the air. If there is no centralized system for its removal, it is required the use of mask.
Work with thermo wood
- Aspen: the results of treatment are good, but the demand for this kind of wood is weak.
- Birch: good results of treatment, and demand is slightly better
- Pine and spruce: structure in which they are present little coalesced nodes is good, and structure with large confluent dead nodes is a problem. The demand is great.
- Using the normal machines and cutting tools, but they must bi sharp.
- There are no significant problems with shooting or incising of wood.
- There are no residual stresses in thermo wood.
- The structure of the thermo wood is similar to the structure of hardwoods and a variety of tools should be done accordingly.
- Companies use normal machines and knives.
- Machines and knives must be well prepared and sharpened.
- Knives should be prepared to be working with hardwood.
- Aspen, birch and pine are very good for processing.
- Spruce requires a little more attention, but the results are also good.
- Danger of bursting when making plugs.
- Razor blades, correct angle cutting and cutting speed affect the quality of processing.
- There are no significant problems in using the grinding machine.
- Wear sandpaper is similar when grinding hardwood.
Nails and screws:
- Pneumatic gun is the best for hammering the nails.
- For hammering nails with ordinary hammer it is necessary to predrill the hole.
- Before driving the screws it is necessary to drill the hole.
- Handling with thermo wood is the same as handling with hardwood.
- Curing time and holding pressure is significantly longer.
- Adhesive curing time can be shortened by increasing the temperature.
- The ability to use different adhesives.
- Using a normal methods of surface treatment.
- Without coating with pigments, the surface becomes light gray after a certain period.
- Good adhesion of coating to the substrate.
- The material is a good base for water-based coating.
Storage of raw materials:
- Raw material for thermal treatment do not expose to rain or snow.
- Stack structures protect with paper envelopes or store them in warehouses.
- It is not necessary air conditioning in the warehouses.
- Conditioning of material in given conditions is recommended.
Previous allegations of the thermo wood as a material which is already several years on the market clearly indicate that it possesses a number of advantages and it has a very wide application area.