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Title: Moisture properties

Author: Rowell, Roger M.;

Date: 2005

Source: Handbook of wood chemistry and wood composites. Boca Raton, Fla. : CRC Press, 2005: pages 77-98.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Wood was designed by nature over millions of years to perform in a wet environment. The wood structure is formed in a water-saturated environment in the living tree, and the water in the living tree keeps the wood elastic and able to withstand environmental strain such as high wind loads. We cut down a tree, dry the wood, and mainly use it in its dry state. But wood in use remains a hygroscopic resource. Wood’s dimensions and mechanical, elastic, and thermal properties depend on the moisture content. Wood is also anisotropic, which means that its properties vary according to its growing direction (longitudinal [vertical or length direction], tangential [parallel to annual growth rings], and radial [perpendicular to the annual growth rings]). The mechanical properties depend very much on both moisture content and growing direction.

Keywords: Electric properties, plant cell walls, adsorption, absorption, mechanical properties, wood moisture, elasticity, thermal properties, anisotropy, dimensional stability, swelling, moisture content, wood strength, hygroscopicity

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Rowell, Roger M. 2005. Moisture properties. Handbook of wood chemistry and wood composites. Boca Raton, Fla. : CRC Press, 2005: pages 77-98.


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