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Wood Research and Technology


Cellulose – Hemicelluloses – Lignin – Wood Extractives

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Volume 69, Issue 7


Magnetic resonance imaging study of water absorption in thermally modified pine wood

Muhammad Asadullah Javed / Päivi M. Kekkonen / Susanna Ahola / Ville-Veikko Telkki
Published Online: 2014-12-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hf-2014-0183


Thermal modification is an environmentally friendly process that enhances the lifetime and properties of timber. In this work, the absorption of water in pine wood (Pinus sylvestris) samples, which were modified by the ThermoWood process, was studied by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and gravimetric analysis. The modification temperatures were varied between 180°C and 240°C. The data shows that the modification at 240°C and at 230°C decreases the water absorption rate significantly and slightly, respectively, while lower temperatures do not have a noticeable effect. MR images reveal that free water absorption in latewood (LW) is faster than in earlywood (EW), but in the saturated sample, the amount of water is greater in EW. Individual resin channels can be resolved in the high-resolution images, especially in LW regions of the modified samples, and their density was estimated to be (2.7±0.6) mm-2. The T2 relaxation time of water is longer in the modified wood than in the reference samples due to the removal of resin and extractives in the course of the modification process.

Keywords: gravimetric analysis; magnetic resonance imaging; moisture content; nuclear magnetic resonance; Pinus sylvestris; T2 relaxation time; thermal modification; water absorption


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About the article

Corresponding author: Ville-Veikko Telkki, NMR Research Group, Department of Physics, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 3000, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland, Phone: +358-294-481309, e-mail:

Received: 2014-06-25

Accepted: 2014-11-04

Published Online: 2014-12-06

Published in Print: 2015-09-01

Citation Information: Holzforschung, Volume 69, Issue 7, Pages 899–907, ISSN (Online) 1437-434X, ISSN (Print) 0018-3830, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hf-2014-0183.

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