Strength, Hardness, Density
Dimensional Stability, Relative Humidity, and Moisture Content
Prevention of dimensional problems in architectural woodwork products as a result of uncontrolled relative humidity is possible. Wood products perform, as they have for centuries, with complete satisfaction when correctly designed and used. Problems directly or indirectly attributed to dimensional change of the wood are usually, in fact, the result of faulty design or improper humidity conditions during site storage, installation, or use.
Wood is anisotropic in its shrinkage characteristics. It shrinks most in the direction of the annual rings when it loses moisture from the cell walls. This illustration from the USDA Wood Handbook shows the typical distortion of cuts from various parts of a log.
Moisture can also cause iron stain (oxidation) in wood, also referred to as blue/black stain. Iron stain is a natural reaction of acids with iron, oxygen, and moisture (either high relative humidity or direct moisture) in wood. Control of moisture is a simple way to protect wood products from iron stain.
|Did you know ...
... that managed forests, thanks to their high proportion of young, strong, growing trees, enable CO2 to be extracted?
... that an old, unmanaged forest produces as much CO2 through processes of decomposition and decay as it stores, and that therefore an unmanaged forest contributes nothing to reducing global CO2?
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