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International Journal of the Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Technology of Wood

Editor-in-Chief: Faix, Oskar

Editorial Board: Daniel, Geoffrey / Militz, Holger / Rosenau, Thomas / Salmen, Lennart / Sixta, Herbert / Vuorinen, Tapani / Argyropoulos, Dimitris S. / Balakshin, Yu / Barnett, J. R. / Burgert, Ingo / Rio, Jose C. / Evans, Robert / Evtuguin, Dmitry V. / Frazier, Charles E. / Fukushima, Kazuhiko / Gindl-Altmutter, Wolfgang / Glasser, W. G. / Holmbom, Bjarne / Isogai, Akira / Kadla, John F. / Koch, Gerald / Lachenal, Dominique / Laine, Christiane / Mansfield, Shawn D. / Morrell, J.J. / Niemz, Peter / Potthast, Antje / Ragauskas, Arthur J. / Ralph, John / Rice, Robert W. / Salin, Jarl-Gunnar / Schmitt, Uwe / Schultz, Tor P. / Sipilä, Jussi / Takano, Toshiyuki / Tamminen, Tarja / Theliander, Hans / Welling, Johannes / Willför, Stefan / Yoshihara, Hiroshi

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Volume 66, Issue 6


Within-ring movement of free water in dehydrating Norway spruce sapwood visualized by neutron radiography

Sabine Rosner
  • Corresponding author
  • Institute of Botany, Department of Integrative Biology, University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, BOKU Vienna, Gregor Mendel-Str. 33, A-1180 Vienna, Austria
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  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Martin Riegler
  • Competence Centre for Wood Composites and Wood Chemistry, Altenberger Strasse 69, A-4040 Linz, Austria
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Peter Vontobel / David Mannes / Eberhard H. Lehmann / Bo Karlsson / Christian Hansmann
  • Competence Centre for Wood Composites and Wood Chemistry, Altenberger Strasse 69, A-4040 Linz, Austria
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2012-02-16 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hf-2011-0234


This study is a first approach to visualize moisture distribution and movement between annual rings during sapwood drying by neutron imaging (NI). While Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] sapwood beams were allowed to dehydrate on a balance at ambient conditions, NI was performed in 1–10 min time steps. From NI raw files, radial dimensional changes were calculated during dehydration and transmission profiles were drawn for different relative moisture content (MC) steps from full saturation until equilibrium moisture content. The NI technique proved to be a useful tool to visualize the movement of free water within, and between, annual rings. Removal of free water in the middle part of the wood beam did not proceed continuously from the surface to the central part, but was strongly influenced by wood anatomy. Water is removed from earlywood during early stages of dehydration and later, at higher moisture loss (<50% MC), from the main latewood parts. It is therefore concluded that the radial dimensional changes measured at moderate moisture loss are not only caused by cell wall shrinkage of the outer wood parts located beneath the wood surface, but a result of elastic deformation of earlywood tracheids under the influence of negative hydrostatic pressures.

Keywords: image analysis; moisture movement; neutron radiography; Norway spruce; wood drying; wood shrinkage

About the article

Corresponding author. Institute of Botany, Department of Integrative Biology,University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences,Vienna (BOKU), Gregor Mendel Str. 33, A-1180 Vienna, Austria Phone: +43 1 47654 3177 Fax: +43 1 47654 3180

Received: 2011-11-19

Accepted: 2012-01-23

Published Online: 2012-02-16

Published in Print: 2012-08-01

Citation Information: , Volume 66, Issue 6, Pages 751–756, ISSN (Online) 1437-434X, ISSN (Print) 0018-3830, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hf-2011-0234.

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