Moisture Sorption of Wood Surfaces Modified by One-Sided Carbonization as an Alternative to Traditional Façade Coatings

Maija Kymäläinen*, Jakub Dömény, Lauri Rautkari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Surface carbonization, or charring, of wooden cladding boards is a promising, low impact process that can substitute inorganic coatings. The char surface is inert and hydrophobic and possibly a long-lasting solution for exterior uses. To determine the performance of surface-charred wood, several sorption experiments were established. Sapwood of two hardwoods (aspen, birch) and two softwoods (pine, spruce) were used as the experimental material, modified by contact charring and gas flame charring, including surfaces coated with oil for further protection. The results showed that flame charring modification is equal to a double layer of acrylic paint on primer in terms of permeability on all wood species, with higher moisture exclusion efficiency at high relative humidity. Contact charring modification presented much improved properties in comparison to both flame charring and acrylic paint in all implemented sorption experiments, but the dimensional stability was poor with strong cupping in wetting. However, hardwoods and especially birch exhibited less dimensional distortion than the other investigated species, and oiling further reduced the cupping. The contact charring modification produced more repeatable results with less impact from substrate and all wood species benefitted, whereas the flame charring modification is more dependent on inherent properties of the wood species, and does not seem to suit aspen as well as birch, and pine as well as spruce, although oiling affected the observed results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1273
Number of pages13
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • claddings
  • permeability
  • sorption
  • surface modification
  • wood
  • wood char


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