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Faculty of Technology Management and Business

Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia

Wood is a hard and fibrous substance which forms a major part of the trunk and branches
of trees. Timber may be defined as a wood which retains its natural physical structure
and chemical composition and is suitable for various engineering works. However,
timber and wood are often used synonymously. Wood is one of the oldest known
materials of construction and the only one that is naturally renewable. Wood as a
building material can be classified in two major classes natural and man-made. With
the advances in science and technology, wood in its natural form as timber, lumber etc. is
being rapidly replaced by composite wood materials in which natural wood is just a basic
ingredient of a matrix or a laminate. The laminated ones are found to be more useful and
adaptable as they may be treated chemically, thermally or otherwise according to
requirement. Some examples are plywood, fibreboards, chipboards, compressed wood,
impregnated wood, etc.
Wood is easy to transport and handle, has more thermal insulation, sound absorption and
electrical resistance as compared to steel and concrete. It is the ideal material to be used
in sea water. Wood can easily be worked, repaired and alterations to wood work can also
be done easily. Hence, wood is widely used in general building, particularly domestic
dwelling, as doors, windows, frames, temporary partition walls, etc., and in roof trusses
and ceilings apart from formwork. More recently, timber is being used in larger public,
commercial and industrial buildings in the form of timber frames, trussed rafters and
glued laminated sections.
Timber and timber products exhibit a number of attractive properties:
They are natural products, hence a renewable resource.
Manufacture of timber products requires much less energy than alternative
The material does not pose any disposal problem after use. It rots naturally.
Timber has a high strength to weight ratio and is particularly useful for roofing
where superimposed loads are limited.
Timber is of aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Timber has a low thermal conductivity, hence it has a warm feel.
The material is easily worked with hand tools and joined with nails or screws.
Strong joints can be formed with adhesives.
Structural timber sections have good fire resistance.
Problems associated with the use of timber are:

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The material may be very variable due to the effects of imperfections such as
knots, grain and defects such as shakes.
Timber is subject to movement and possible distortion when its moisture content
Timber is subject to fungal and insect attack.
Untreated timber burns readily in fire and therefore constitutes a fire hazard.
Timber is subject to creep under load, especially if its moisture content is subject
to change.

Typical timber frame wall components for a timber frame wall with brick cladding on masonry rising walls
and concrete ground slab.


Trees are classified as endogenous and exogenous according to the mode of growth.

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Trees grow endwards, e.g. palm, bamboo, etc.
Trees grow outwards and are used for making structural elements. They are further
subdivided as conifers and deciduous.
Conifers: They are evergreen trees having pointed needle like leaves, e.g. fir, pine, chir.
They show distinct annual rings, have straight fibres and are soft with pine as an
exception, light in colour, resinous and light weight. (Used predominantly in construction
compared to deciduous because of their long straight trunk, better quality of wood and
they grow faster and more easily .)
Deciduous: These trees have flat broad leaves which are shed each year, e.g. oak, teak,
poplar and maple. The annual rings are indistinct with the exception of poplar and bass
wood, they yield hard wood and are non-resinous, dark in colour and heavy weight.


All commercial timbers can be classified into two broad groups: softwoods and
hardwoods. The terms softwood and hardwood does not necessarily refer to the relative
hardness, density or ease of working. The distinction is botanical:
Hardwood (from deciduous trees)
Softwood (from conifers)
In Malaysia, almost all the timber is hardwood. The forestry department of Malaysia has
classified hardwood into three categories:

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Heavy hardwood
Medium hardwood
Light hardwood

Heavy hardwood is timber that has a density of greater than 880 kg/m3 in oven-dry
conditions. The medium hardwood has a density between 720 kg/m3 to 880 kg/m3, and is
naturally less durable than the heavy hardwood. The light hardwood has a density less
than 720 kg/m3 and is naturally not durable except after being oven-dried.

Methods of sawing timber


Parallel cuts made throughout the

length of the log
Cutting parallel slices of planks
Easiest and economical method
Shrinkage of sapwood more than
the heartwood
Causing warp and twisting of planks


Tendency to cup i.e. to curve in a transverse direction

When applied to wood, not having distinct medullar rays this method produces
very fine wood


Timber cut parallel

to medullar rays and
perpendicular to
annual rings

3b least shrinkage but

most wasted
3c limited rift is adopted
Greater decorative effect
medullar rays pronounced

Boards or planks
sawn tangentially to
annual rings
Not suitable for flooring

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Planks cut by this method warp too much


The way a tree grows explains much about the characteristics of lumber. Wood consists
of long, narrow, hollow cells called fibers. New fibers grow at the outside of the tree,
increasing the diameter layer by layer. The thin growing layer is called the cambium
layer. The next layer is the sapwood, which consists of active but do not grow. At the
center of the tree is the heartwood layer that consists of dead fibers. Heartwood and
sapwood have the same mechanical properties. However, heartwood is a darker shade
because of resins, gums, and minerals it contains. Right at the center is a thin vein of soft
tissue called pith that is mechanically not strong. Outside the cambium layer is the bark.
In temperate climate conditions, the forming of new fibers and growth of fibers proceed
rapidly in the spring and early summer, forming large, thin-walled fibers with a small
percentage of wall material in their cross-section. In the summer and autumn, growth is
slower with a greater percentage of fiber wall material. In cold weather, there is no
growth. Springwood and summerwood form alternating concentric bands around the
tree. Summerwood is heavier, darker, harder, and stronger than springwood. The age of
a tree can be determined by the number of rings, and some details of the weather during
the trees lifetime can be identified from the width of the individual rings of springwood
and summerwood. The strength of a piece of wood can be judged by the percentage of
summerwood compared to springwood showing in cross section. The strength can also be
judged by the unit weight or specific gravity. In tropical climate conditions, the above
characteristics are less obvious
Hollow fiber structure of wood makes it an excellent insulator against the passage of heat
and sound. Generally, fiber boards manufactured from pressed wood chips and sawdust
is primarily used as insulation. When wood is sawed parallel to the length of the tree, the

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light and dark annual rings appear as stripes called grain. The outward growth of new
cells partially encloses branches that have started to grow and forms a discontinuity in the
annual ring pattern. The discontinuity appears as a knot, this knot causes weakness.
Trees are felled and cut and trimmed into logs with portable, power-driven chain saws
before being transported to a sawmill. The logs are kept moist while stored at the mill to
prevent shrinkage cracks, unless just for a short time. Blades remove the bark before the
log is sawed. Two basic methods of sawing a log into a lumber, as well as a combination
is used.

Slash cut lumber

Rift-cut lumber

Plain sawed
Quarter sawed

Flat grain
Edge grain

Lumber is finished in three forms:

Rough lumber sawed on all four sides with no further finishing
Dressed lumber or surfaced lumber is planed or surfaced at least on one face
Worked lumber is dressed and worked to provide shiplap joints.
Lumber to be finished may be planed while green, or it may be seasoned first and planed
later. Seasoning is the process of reducing the moisture until a suitable moisture level is
reached. The cross-section of the wood becomes smaller during seasoning. If lumber is
planed to the proper size after seasoning, it will remain the proper size. If it is planed
first, it must be left larger than the proper size to allow for shrinkage to the proper size.
Lumber is sawed to nominal sizes, usually to the whole inch.



Narrow annual rings, closer the rings greater is the strength

Compact medullary rays
Dark colour
Uniform texture
Sweet smell and a shining fresh cut surface
When struck sonorous sound is produced
Free from defects in timber
Heavy weight
No wooliness at fresh cut surface

Moisture Content (MC) and Shrinkage:

Undoubtedly, woods reaction to moisture provides more problems than any other factor
in its use. Wood is hygroscopic - that is, it picks up or gives off moisture to equalize with
the relative humidity and temperature in the atmosphere. As it does so, it changes in
strength; bending strength can increase by about 50% in going from green to a moisture

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content (MC) found in wood members in a residential structure, for example. Wood also
shrinks as it dries, or swells as it picks up moisture, with concomitant warpage potential.
Critical in this process is the fiber saturation point (fsp) , the point (about 25% moisture
content, on oven-dry basis) below which the hollow center of the cell has lost its fluid
contents, the cell walls begin to dry and shrink, and wood strength begins to increase. The
swelling and shrinkage processes are reversible and approximately linear between fiber
saturation point and 0% MC.
Wood decay or fungal stain do not occur when the MC is below 20%. There is no
practical way to prevent moisture change in wood; most wood finishes and coatings only
slow the process down. Thus, vapor barriers, adequate ventilation, exclusion of water
from wood, or preservative treatment are absolutely essential in wood construction.


It is the process of reducing the moisture content of timber in order to prevent the timber
from possible fermentation. It can also be defined as the process of drying the wood to a
moisture content approximately equal to the average humidity of the surroundings, where
it is to be permanently fixed. Very rapid seasoning after removal of bark should be
avoided since it causes case hardening and thus increases resistance to penetration of
preservatives. Some of the reasons for seasoning wood are as follows:
Reduce the shrinkage and warping after placement in structure.
Increase strength, durability and workability;
Reduce its tendency to split and decay.
Make it suitable for painting.
Reduce its weight.

3.4.1 Methods of Seasoning

Seasoning of Timber
What is "seasoned" timber?
The process of drying out the water from "wet" or "green" timber is termed "seasoning",
or more simply "drying". Water is just as essential to the life of a tree as it is for all living
matter. Together with the various minerals, it enters through the roots of the tree and is
carried in the sapwood - the outer woody part to the leaves. The food, that is the sugars
and starch, are made in the leaves by photosynthesis and are transported in solution down
the inner bark to the growing cells. The whole trunk of the tree is made up of cells, which
are like small tubes, having walls of cellulose and a more or less hollow' cavity filled
with water and other materials known as sap. Consequently, when the tree is felled and
the resulting log is sawn into timber, the sawn sections consist of innumerable small cells
containing water. Drying the moisture out of wood enhances its properties to such an
extent that the resulting timber is given the special name "seasoned" rather than "dried"
although the terms are identical.

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Why is timber seasoned?

Seasoning timber causes many changes in its properties, and in practically every case the
change is an improvement. There is only one principal disadvantage in drying timber,
namely, the loss in volume due to shrinkage. However, by a correct understanding of the
shrinkage of timber this effect can be minimized, and timber can then be confidently used
without fear of adverse behaviour subsequently in service.
Types of Seasoning
(i) Natural Seasoning: It may be air seasoning or water seasoning.
Air seasoning is carried out in a shed with a platform. On about 300 mm high platform
timber balks are stacked as shown in Fig. 1.8.

Care is taken to see that there is proper air circulation around each timber balk. Over a
period, in a natural process moisture content reduces. A well-seasoned timber contains
only 15% moisture. This is a slow but a good process of seasoning.
The traditional method for drying wood, air seasoning is also the longest, taking six to
nine months. To air season wood, stack logs or planks outside on pallets in such a manner
that air can circulate vertically and horizontally through the timbers. The raised pallets
also keep wood away from vegetation and damp ground. Plank and log ends are often
wrapped or sealed to prevent excessive moisture loss through these areas. The drying
wood is also protected from the elements with an overhead canopy.
Water seasoning is carried out on the banks of rivers. The thicker end of the timber is
kept pointing upstream side. After a period of 2 to 4 weeks the timber is taken out.
During this period sap contained in the timber is washed out to a great extent. Then
timber is stalked in a shed with free air circulation.

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(ii) Artificial Seasoning: In this method timber is seasoned in a chamber with regulated
heat, controlled humidity and proper air circulation. Seasoning can be completed in 4 to 5
days only. The different methods of seasoning are:
(a) Boiling
(b) Kiln seasoning
(c) Chemical seasoning
(d) Electrical seasoning.
(a) Boiling: In this method timber is immersed in water and then water is boiled for 3 to 4
hours. Then it is dried slowly. Instead of boiling water hot steam may be circulated on
timber. The process of seasoning is fast, but costly.
(b) Kiln Seasoning:
The most common and effective commercial process for drying wood is kiln seasoning,
which accelerates the process of removing moisture through the use of external energy.
Drying takes two days to one weekend, depending on the type of wood. Kiln is an airtight
chamber. Timber to be seasoned is placed inside it. Then fully saturated air with a
temperature 35C to 38C is forced in the kiln. The heat gradually reaches inside timber.
Then relative humidity is gradually reduced and temperature is increased, and maintained
till desired degree of moisture content is achieved. Two methods, progressive and
compartmental, are used for kiln seasoning. The kiln used may be stationary or
progressive. In progressive kiln the carriages carrying timber travel from one end of kiln
to other end gradually. The hot air is supplied from the discharging end so that
temperature increase is gradual from charging end to discharging end, there are different
air conditions to progressively dry the wood. This method is used for seasoning on a
larger scale, this method produces a constant flow of seasoned timber.
Wood seasoned via the compartmental process remains in a single building where it is
subjected to a program of varying conditions until the moisture content is removed. This
process is used for hard-to-dry or expensive wood.
Solar Kiln
This method combines the speed of kiln seasoning with the low energy of air drying.
Solar kilns have single-thickness windows on the south side of the structure that work as
collectors to trap the suns energy. Heat collectors, made from black metal are attached
near the top of the window sashes. Various methods force the heated air to circulate
through the kiln to dry the wood. Some solar kilns have insulation to retain heat at night.
This process takes approximately twice as long as traditional kiln seasoning. Because of
its gentle nature, it is well suited to producing wood for furniture fabrication.
(c) Chemical Seasoning: In this method, the timber is immersed in a solution of suitable
salt. Then the timber is dried in a kiln. The preliminary treatment by chemical seasoning
ensures uniform seasoning of outer and inner parts of timber.
(d) Electrical Seasoning: In this method high frequency alternate electric current is
passed through timber. Resistance to electric current is low when moisture content in
timber is high.

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As moisture content reduces the resistance reduces. Measure of resistance can be used to
stop seasoning at appropriate level.
However it is costly process. This technique has been tried in some plywood industries
but not in seasoning of timber on mass scale.
Additional method of seasoning:
Microwave Seasoning
Microwave seasoning uses pulsed energy directed into timbers to drive out moisture in a
manner that will not cause seasoning degrade. This method also provides advantages
such as high speed and high quality and is well suited for seasoning lumber, blocks,
veneer, chips, paper and wood-based composite materials. Areas in the wood with the
most moisture absorb the most energy resulting in even temperature during the drying
process and a uniform moisture content. These factors enhance quality and reduce timber
checking and warping.

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Advantages of seasoning:
Three most important advantages of seasoning have already been made apparent:
1. Seasoned timber lasts much longer than unseasoned. Since the decay of timber is due
to the attacks of wood-destroying fungi, and since the most important condition of the
growth of these fungi is water, anything which lessens the amount of water in wood aids
in its preservation.
2. In the case of treated timber, seasoning before treatment greatly increases the
effectiveness of the ordinary methods of treatment, and seasoning after treatment
prevents the rapid leaching out of the salts introduced to preserve the timber.
3. The saving in freight where timber is shipped from one place to another. Few persons
realize how much water green wood contains, or how much it will lose in a
comparatively short time. Experiments along this line with lodge-pole pine, white oak,
and chestnut gave results which were a surprise to the companies owning the timber.
Freight charges vary considerably in different parts of the country; but a decrease of 35 to
40 per cent in weight is important enough to deserve everywhere serious consideration
from those in charge of timber operations.
When timber is shipped long distances over several roads, as is coming to be more and
more the case, the saving in freight will make a material difference in the cost of lumber
operations, irrespective of any other advantages of seasoning.

Defects due to seasoning:

Following defects occur in the seasoning process of wood.
(i) Bow: the defect is indicated by the curvature formed in the direction of length of
(ii) case-hardening: the exposed surface of timber dries very rapidly. It therefore
shrinks and is under compression. The interior surface which has not completely
dried under tension. This defect is known as the case-hardening.
(iii) Check: a check is a crack which separates fibres of wood. It does not extend from
one end to the other.
(iv) Collapse: due to uneven shrinkage, the wood sometime flattens during drying. This
is known as collapse.
(v) Cup: this defect is indicated by the curvature formed in the transverse direction of
(vi) Honey-combing: due to stresses developed during drying, the various radial and
circular cracks in the interior portion of timber. This defect is known as honeycombing.
(vii) Radial shake: these are radial cracks.



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Kepingan kayu yang tebalnya lebih daripada 150 mm akan mengambil masa yang cukup
lama untuk dikeringkan. Oleh itu, biasanya kayu dipotong nipis-nipis supaya mudah
kering. Kayu pejal yang tebal juga sukar dibentukkan kepada bentuk-bentuk tertentu.
(c) Kebaikan-kebaikan menggunakan kayu lapis adalah:
(1) Anggota-anggota struktur seperti rasuk dan tiang boleh dibina mengikut sebarang
saiz keratan yang dikehendaki.
(2) Bentuk-bentuk melengkung dengan keratan rentas berubah-ubah boleh dibina.
(3) Oleh sebab kepingan kayu setebal 25mm hingga 50 mm mudah kering, maka
anggota kayu lapis walau setebal mana pun adalah benar-benar kering luar dan
(4) Kayu daripada gred tegasan tinggi boleh diletakkan pada bahagian yang
bertegasan tingggi dan yang bergred tegasan rendah di bahagian bertegasan
(5) Kayu-kayu yang bersaiz kecil dan bergred rendah boleh digunakan untuk
menghasilkan anggota struktur yang bersaiz besar.
(6) Suatu anggota kayu lapis yang berkeratan rentas besar adalah lebih tahan api
daripada cara binaan dengan kepingan kayu kecil digunakan secara individu.
(7) Rasuk kayu lapis boleh dilengkungkan ke atas semasa ia dibina untuk menimbal
dengan lengkungan ke bawah apabila rasuk itu menanggung beban.
(8) Penggluan yang dilakukan dengan cermat membolehkan lapisan-lapisan kayu itu
bertindak sebagai satu unit dengan lebih berkesan lagi daripada kayu kepingankepingan itu dicantumkan dengan paku, bold and pengikat mekanik yang lain.
(9) Oleh sebab kepingan kayu yang diawet dengan baik keseluruhannya dan bebas
daripada kecacatan digunakan untuk membuat kayu lapis, maka tegasan selamat
yang tinggi boleh dipakai dalam merekabentuk struktur daripada kayu lapis.
Papan lapis dibuat daripada kepingan-kepingan kayu nipis yang dikenali sebagai lapisan
kayu nipis (veneer), yang diletakkan bersama menggunakan glu.
(Rujuk kepada handout)

Papan partikel ialah istilah umum yang diberikan kepada bahan kepingan yang dibuat
daripada serpihan kayu atau bahan lingoselulosa lain yang dilekatkan dengan resin
sintetik atau sejenis pelekat organik. Jenis keluaran ini juga dikenali sebagai papan serpih
atau papan rami.
(Rujuk kepada handout Dari Zakaria, M.L. Bahan dan Binaan

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The major problems that arise in wood use may be attributed either to the effects of grain
distortions (cell orientation or alignment), to the effects of excess moisture, or to defects
that occur as a result of the drying process. The specific defects taken into account in the
grading of lumber products include:
The result of cutting across a branch in lumber manufacture. If the branch is cut
perpendicular to its axis, the knot is round or oblong and presents a miniature aspect of a
tree with visible growth rings. Knots may be live (cut through a living branch with intact
tissue) or dead (cut through a dead branch stub with loose bark, usually resulting in a
knothole). If the saw is oriented so as to cut along the length of a branch, the knot is
greatly elongated and is termed a spike knot. Due to the obvious grain distortion around
knots, they are areas of severe strength reduction. The lumber grading process takes this
into account by classifying lumber grade by knot size, number, type, and location within
the member. Knots located along the edge of a piece are, for example, restricted in size
more than are knots located along the centerline of the member.
Slope of grain:
A deviation of cell orientation from the longitudinal axis of the member. Slope of grain
may be a natural phenomenon wherein the grain is at some angle to the tree axis (termed
spiral grain), or it may be the result of sawing the member nonparallel to the tree axis.
Slope of grain has a negative effect upon wood strength properties. A slope of 1:20 has
minimal effect, but a slope of 1:6 reduces strength to about 40% in bending and to about
55% in compression parallel to the grain. Tensile strength is even more adversely
Wane occurs whenever a board is sawn so as to intersect the periphery of the tree,
resulting in one edge or portion of an edge of a board being rounded or including bark.
Limited amounts of wane are permitted, depending upon lumber grade. The effect of
wane on wood strength or nailing surface is obvious.
A lengthwise separation of the wood, which usually occurs between or through the
annual growth rings. Shakes are limited in grading since they present a plane of greatly
reduced shear strength. Shake may occur as a result of severe wind that bends a tree to
produce an internal shear failure, or as a result of subsequent rough handling of the tree
or its products.

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Splits and cracks:

Separations of the wood cells along the grain, most often the result of drying stresses as
the wood shrinks. Cracks are small, whereas splits extend completely through the
thickness of a piece. Splits at the ends of the member, particularly along the central
portion of a beam, are limited in grading.
Insect attack:
Insect attack may range from small blemishes that do not affect strength to large voids or
extensive damage in the wood as the result of termite or other insect infestation. Insect
attack is usually treated as equivalent to the effect of similarly sized knotholes.
Decay Due to Fungi:
Decay, caused by wood-destroying fungi, is precluded from wood use except for certain
species in lower grades because the strength-reducing effects of fungal attack are quite
significant even before visible evidence (wood discoloration, punkiness) appears. It is
important to note that decay organisms require moisture to live and grow; hence, the
presence of active decay or mold implies access to a source of moisture. Moist wood will
always decay, unless the wood is preservative-treated or is of a very durable species

(II) Defects due to fungi:

Fungi attack timber only when
(i) The moisture content of timber is above 20%.
(ii) If there is a presence of air and warmth for the growth of fungi.
Due to attack of fungi following defects occur:
(i) Bluestain: the sap of the wood is stained to bluish colour by the action of certain type
of fungi.
(ii) Brown rot: the fungi of certain types remove cellulose compound from wood and
hence the wood assumes the brown colour. This is known as the brown rot.
(iii) Dry rot: the fungi of certain types feed on wood and during feeding, they attack on
wood and convert it into powder form. This is known as dry rot. This type of defect
occurs in places where there is dampness and no free circulation of air. The dry rot may
be prevented by using well seasoned timber free from sap.
(iv) Heart rot: this is formed when a branch has come out of a tree. It occurs when heart
wood is exposed to atmospheric agent.
(v) Sap stain: certain types of fungi feed on cell contents of sap wood. In doing so, the sap
wood loses its colour. This is known as sap stain. It generally occurs when moisture
content goes beyond 25 % or so.
(vi) Wet rot: some varieties of fungi cause chemical decomposition of wood of timber in
doing so timber is converted into a greyish brown powder. This is known as wet rot.
(vii) White rot: this defect is opposite of brown rot. In this defect the wood assumes the
appearance of a white mass consisting of cellulose compounds.

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Defect due to insects:

Defects in timber occur due to various types of insects.
Such as:
(i) beetles
(ii) marine borers
(ii) termites
Decay of timber occurs due to the above insects.


Effect of Powderpost beetle:

Effect of Drywood termite:

Defect due to natural force:

There are two main natural forces responsible for causing defects in timber, namely:
abnormal growth and rupture of tissues.
Burls: these are also known as the excrescences and they are particularly formed when
a tree has received shock or injury in young age. Due to such injury, the growth of tree
is completely upset and irregular projections appear on the body of timber.
(ii) Callus: it indicates soft tissues or skin which covers the wound of a tree.
(iii) Chemical stain: the wood is sometimes discoloured due to the chemical action caused
with it by some external agency.
(iv) Coarse grain: if a tree grows rapidly, the annual rings are widened. Such timber
possesses less strength.
(v) Dead wood: the timber which is obtained from dead standing trees contains dead
(vi) Druxiness: this defect is indicated by white decayed spots which are concealed by
healthy wood.
(vii) Foxiness: this defect is indicated by red or yellow tinge in wood or reddish brown
stains or spots round the pith of tree discolouring the timber. It is caused due too poor
(viii) Knots: these are the bases of branches or limbs which are broken or cut off from the
tree. The portion from which the branch is removed receives nourishment from the
stem for a pretty long time and it ultimately results in the formation of dark hard rings
which are known as the knots.
(ix) Rind galls: the rind means bark and gall indicates abnormal growth. Hence peculiar
curved swelling found on the body of a tree known as the rind gall.
(x) Shakes: these are cracks which partly or completely separate the fibres of wood.
Following are the different types of shakes: cup shake, heart shake, ring shake, star
shake, radial shake.
(xi) Twisted fibres: these are also known as the wandering hearts and they are caused by
twisting of young trees by fast blowing wind.

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(xii) Upset: these are also known as the ruptures and they indicate the wood fibres which are
injured by crushing or compression.
(xiii) Water stain: the wood is sometimes discoloured when it comes into contact with
water. This defect is usually found in converted timber.
(xiv) Wind cracks: if wood is exposed to atmospheric agencies, its exterior surface shrinks.
These are known as the wind cracks.
Thermal Properties

Three important thermal conductive properties are :

(i) Specific heat:(the specific heat conductivity of a material) is the thermal energy
required to produce one unit change of temperature in one unit of mass.. It seems
that specific heats dont varied with wood species (pine, oak, birch)
The heat capacity of wood depends on the temperature and moisture
content of the wood, but its practically independent of density or species. The heat
capacity of wood that contains water is greater than that of dry wood. Below fiber
saturation, it is the sum of the heat capacity of the dry wood and that of water (cpw) and
an additional adjustment factor Ac that accounts for the additional energy in the wood
water bond:
(ii) Thermal conductivity: is a measure of the rate of heat flow through one unit
thickness of a material subjected to a temperature gradient.
The thermal conductivity of common structural woods is much less than
the conductivity of metals with which wood often is mated in construction. It is about two
to four times that of common insulating material. For example, the conductivity of
structural softwood lumber at 12% moisture content is in the range of 0.1 to 1.4
W/(mK) compared with 216 for aluminum, 45 for steel, 0.9 for concrete, 1 for glass, 0.7
for plaster, and 0.036 for mineral wool.
The thermal conductivity of wood is affected by a number of basic factors:
density, moisture content, extractive content, grain direction, structural irregularities such
as checks and knots, fibril angle, and temperature. Thermal conductivity increases as
density, moisture content, temperature, or extractive content of the wood increases.
Thermal conductivity is nearly the same in the radial and tangential directions with
respect to the growth rings. Conductivity along the grain has been reported as 1.5 to 2.8
times greater than conductivity across the grain, with an average of about 1.8, but
reported values vary widely.
For moisture content levels below 25%, approximate thermal conductivity
k across the grain can be calculated with a linear equation of the form
k = G(B + CM) + A (37)
where G is specific gravity based on ovendry weight and volume at a
given moisture content M (%) and A, B, and C are constants.
The effect of temperature on thermal conductivity is relatively minor:
conductivity increases about 2% to 3% per 10C (1% to 2% per 10F).

Dr CPG UTHM 2016


(iii)Thermal diffusivity: is a measure of how quickly a material can absorb heat from
its surroundings
The relationship between these properties is given by:
=k/(c*); where = thermal diffusivity; k=thermal conductivity;
c=specific heat; = density

Thermal diffusivity is defined as the ratio of conductivity to the product of

heat capacity and density; therefore, conclusions regarding its variation
with temperature and density are often based on calculating the effect of
these variables on heat capacity and conductivity. Because of the low
thermal conductivity and moderate density and heat capacity of wood, the
thermal diffusivity of wood is much lower than that of other structural
materials, such as metal, brick, and stone. For this reason, wood does not
feel extremely hot or cold to the touch as do some other materials.

Dr CPG UTHM 2016