Surface modification of solid wood by charring

M. Kymäläinen*, S. Hautamäki, K. Lillqvist, Kristoffer Segerholm, L. Rautkari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Most wooden structures for outdoor applications require repetitive maintenance operations to protect the surfaces from adverse effects of weathering. One-sided surface modification of boards with a relatively fast charring process has the potential to increase the durability and service life of wooden claddings. To assess some weathering-related effects on surface charred wood, spruce and pine sapwood were subjected to a series of long charring processes (30–120 min) at a moderate temperature of 250 °C and to a short one (30 s) at a high temperature of 400 °C. The wettability and contact angles of treated samples were investigated, and the heat transfer was measured along with the micromorphological changes taking place in the material. The result revealed an increased moisture resistance of charred spruce sapwood and an increased water uptake of pine sapwood. The contact angles of both wood species improved compared to references. Heat conduction measurement revealed that only a thin section of the wood was thermally modified. Some micromorphological changes were recorded, especially on the inside walls of the lumina. The results show that spruce sapwood has an improved resistance towards moisture-induced weathering, but more studies are needed to unlock the potential of surface charred wood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6111-6119
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Materials Science
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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