The versatility of wood is due to the level of moisture content in wood which determines the performance of wood in service. This performance is a result of the process used in the drying of the wood species. Wood can be dried through natural and artificial drying methods but the natural methods required little skill and cost in obtaining the desired results. This project was based on the improvement of the natural method of wood drying, in order to reduce the cost of drying wood. Some wood species were selected and used for this project work and the result obtained at the end of the experiment was presented in this report.

Wood exchanges moisture with air; the amount and direction of the exchange (gain or loss) depend on the relative humidity and temperature of the air and the current amount of water in the wood. This moisture relationship has an important influence on wood properties and performance. This paper discussed the physical properties of most interest in the use of wood products. Some physical properties discussed are influenced by species as well as variables like moisture content; other properties tend to be independent of species.



 Title page        i

 Certification        ii

 Dedication        iii

  Acknowledgment iv

 Abstract        v

 Table of content       vi - viii

 Chapter one

1.0 Introduction        1- 2

1.1 Statement of problem      3

1.2 Objectives of study      3

1.3 Justification of study      3-5

1.4 Scope of study       5

Chapter two

2.0 Literature review       6-7

2.1 physical properties of wood                            7-8

2.2 Mechanical properties of wood     8-9

2.3       Dimensional changes in wood                  9-10

2.4 Moisture content in wood      10-11

 2.4.1 Equilibrium moisture content     11-12

 2.4.2 Moisture movement directions for diffusion   12

 2.4.3 Moisture content differences     12- 13

 2.4.4 Moisture passageways                                                            14

2.5  Influence of temperature, relative humidity, and rate of air circulation 14- 16

2.6. Reasons for splits and cracks during timber drying and their control 16

2.7. Shrinkage and swelling       17

2.8 Wood species used        17

 2.8.1 Eku         17-18

 2.8.2 Omo         18-19

 2.8.3 Ure         19-20

Chapter Three

3.0 Materials and Methods       21

3.1 Sampling techniques        21-23


3.2 Determination of Initial moisture content     23

3.3 Experimental design       23-24

3.4  Data analysis        24

Chapter four

4.0  Result and discussion       25

4.1  Result         25-26

      4.1.1 The moisture content of the two selected media   25-26

4.2.  Discussion        27-28

Chapter five

5.0  Conclusions        29

Reference     30-31

List of Tables

1  Initial and final moisture contents of the drying media  25-26

2  Differences in drying rates of each medium    26

Appendix     32-33

1  The temperature of the drying media     32

2          The diagram of the media     33



  Drying, if carried out promptly after conversion of wood, protects timber against primary

decay, fungal stain and attack by certain kinds of insects. Organisms, which cause decay and

stain, generally cannot thrive in timber with moisture content which is below 20%. Several,

though  not  all, insect  pests can live only in  green timber. Dried wood is  less susceptible to

decay than green wood which is above 20% moisture.

  Air drying is the drying  of timber by exposing it to the air. The technique of air drying

consists  mainly  of  making  a  stack  of  sawn  timber  (with  the  layers  of  boards  separated  by

stickers) on raised foundations, in a clean, cool, dry and shady place. Rate of drying largely

depends  on  climatic  conditions,  and  on  the  air  movement  (exposure  to  the  wind).  For

successful air drying, a continuous and uniform flow of air throughout the pile of the timber

needs to be arranged (Desch and Dinwoodie, 1996).

  The rate of loss of moisture can be controlled by coating the planks with any substance

that  is  relatively  impermeable  to  moisture;  ordinary  mineral  oil  is  usually  quite  effective.

Coating the ends of logs with oil or thick paint, improves their quality upon drying. Wrapping

planks  or  logs  in  materials  which  will  allow  some  movement  of  moisture,  generally  works

very  well  provided  the  wood  is  first  treated  against  fungal  infection  by  coating  in

petrol/gasoline  or  oil.  Mineral  oil  will  generally  not  soak  in  more  than  1–2 mm  below  the

surface and is easily removed by planning when the timber is suitably dry (Rowell, 1983). 

  It  can  be  less  expensive  to  use  this  drying  method  (there  are  still  costs  associated  with

storing the wood, and with the slower process of getting the wood to market), and air drying

often produces a higher quality, more easily workable wood than with kiln drying. 

  The  drying  rate  of  wood  differs  due  to  the  amount  of  moisture  content  present  in  each

wood cell. Hardwood is said to be more complex than softwood species, due to the types of


different  component  parts  contained  in  the  hardwood  cell  (e.g.  vessel,  lignin,  cellulose  and

hemicelluloses)  and  is  discovered  to  require  more  drying  period  (Desch  and  Dinwoodie,

1996).    The  structural  composition  of  wood  and variation  in  the  physical  properties  of

different wood species are the reason for different seasoning period. Each wood species has

different tendency to drying, when exposed to a particular drying phenomenon. 

  There  are  various  drying  procedures  which  have  been  practiced  over  the  years  and  the

drying  rate  of  these  techniques  differs  from  one  another.  Some  have  been  discovered  to  be

faster than the others during the process of subjecting the wood to drying. It is important to

dry wood before subjecting it to any use, in order to reduce the moisture content (M.C %) of

the wood. An artificial drying technique has been developed and it has been noted to be very

fast  in  drying  wood,  than  the  natural  drying  techniques.  The  disadvantage  of  using  this

method is that the inner layers of the wood fail to dry properly, especially hardwood species

(Innes, 1996).

  The  cost  of  installation  of  the  equipment  for  the  artificial  drying  techniques  are




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