How does a desiccant help in drying and storing wood?

Without water, all representatives of the flora invariably begin to dry out from the inside and subsequently break down. This also applies to trees growing in their natural environment — they must include a large amount of liquid. Therefore, from young trees after a log house, raw materials containing more than 35% moisture are obtained. During storage, such an abundance of moisture leads to rotting, mold and shrinkage of wood. And as a result, the raw material becomes unsuitable for further use.

How to find out the level of moisture in wood, how much moisture should be contained in the material for different purposes of its application, in what ways drying is carried out and how an air desiccant helps in this process — more details in the article. Read below!

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How much moisture does wood contain: we make miscalculations

Before proceeding with the calculations, it should be noted that:

Relative Humidity is an indicator of the ratio of the mass of wood moisture to the mass of the material in the wet state.

Absolute humidity — this is the ratio of the mass of moisture in the raw material to the mass of moisture of the wood, which has been dried to a completely dry state.

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Both parameters are measured as a percentage.

What determines the moisture content of a tree? From the relative humidity of the air and the ambient temperature. It follows from this that dry raw materials “take away” the missing liquid from the atmosphere, and wet, on the contrary, “give away” excess moisture.

To determine how much moisture wood contains when stored indoors, a special chart has been developed in which outside temperatures are shown horizontally, air humidity is shown vertically, and diagonal stripes show wood moisture content. The accuracy of indicators does not exceed 0.75%.

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Recommended moisture content of wood depending on the purpose

Wood is used for various purposes: the manufacture of interior items, the construction of aircraft, the creation of musical instruments, etc. The moisture level of raw materials must be maintained within the range recommended specifically for a particular purpose.

The indicators that need to be achieved in the process of drying wood are shown in the table:

Moisture level in %
Production of chipboard, plywood 6-8
Production of components for marine vessels 12-16
Making musical instruments 5-8
Manufacture of sports equipment, exercise equipment 8-12
Manufacturing of electrical appliances 5-8
Making Tools for the Garden 12-16
Production of train elements 6-8
Creating Furnishings 6-10
Production of parquet board 6-8
Creating Aircraft Parts 6-10
Making children’s toys 6-10
Creating weapon parts 7-12
Production of interior doors and window structures 8-10
Manufacture of external windows and doors 12-15
Creation of agricultural machinery 12-18

To use wood as a building material, it is dried up to 12-18%, and for use in service rooms — from 16% to 20%.

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Wood drying technologies

There are 2 ways to dry wood:

1. Natural drying of wood

All methods of drying this natural material are based on the influence of the ambient air on the moisture content of the raw material. Therefore, in order to achieve optimal performance in wood, it is necessary to create an appropriate microclimate in the room where the wood is dried and subsequently stored.

As already described above, the moisture content of the material depends on the purpose of its application and fluctuates approximately in the range of 5-18%. It is possible to dry raw materials in a natural way, for example, for the manufacture of furniture. But this process, firstly, directly depends on the «whims» of nature and takes a very long time. But artificially, this procedure is much faster and easier.

2. Artificial drying of wood

Wood drying occurs in most cases using two technologies:

Through the installation of a supply and exhaust ventilation system in the room, which has a mechanical control method.

By installing modern equipment specifically designed for dehumidifying the air in the premises — a dehumidifier.

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The first option works according to the following principle: the ventilation system draws moisture-saturated air flows from the room, and returns heated air. This method shows excellent results, however, in terms of profitability, it is less profitable than using a desiccant.

The second option, in which the desiccant works -15-+35°С / -30-+40°С / 5-35°С or 1-35°С, is simpler and more profitable in financial terms. These devices belong to «smart» technology, which independently maintains the desired degree of humidity in the room. To dry and store wood, a person only needs to set the settings on the unit and periodically drain the collected condensate. And if you make a drainage system, the drainage process will take place continuously.

We draw a conclusion: the artificial method of drying wood, in comparison with the natural one, is simpler, more economical and faster. And with the maintenance of optimal humidity indicators, the best way to cope is with an air dryer.

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In order for the drying and storage of wood to take place in accordance with the requirements, it is important to buy a good desiccant (for example, from the company Storm, Celsius, Trotec, Cooper&Hunter, DT Group). Contact the managers of the Pobut online store and they will help you choose the right device based on the purpose of use and your budget. Call: (099) 389 94 49.


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