Effect of One-Sided Surface Charring of Beech Wood on Density Profile and Surface Wettability
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One-sided surface charred European beech wood (Fagus sylvatica L.) was studied. Radial and tangential specimens of dimensions of 50 x 25 x 350 mm were one-sided surface charred at 200, 250, 300, 350, and 400 degrees C for various times using a contact heating system. Specimens of dimensions of 50 x 25 x 50 mm(3) were prepared for treatment intensity analysis and its effect on surface wettability. Density profiles of the radial and tangential charred specimens were determined using X-ray densitography with a resolution of 0.05 mm. The wettability of the one-sided surface charred wood specimens was analyzed via contact angle, measured using the sessile drop method and determined over 10 to 150 s. The oven-dried specimens were partially submerged in water and water uptake was recorded after 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 48, and 72 h according to EN-927-5. The surface density of the radial specimen groups charred at 200 degrees C for 6 min and 250 degrees C for 4 min decreased by about 4.5 to 8.2%. With increasingly severe charring, the surface density decreased by about 15.5 to 33.5%. A mild charring process produced a surface charred layer of approx. 2 mm, while higher temperatures and longer times affected the density up to 4-6 mm beneath the surface. Differences were found between the water uptake of the radial and tangential charred beech specimens. The most significant decrease of 56% in water uptake was recorded for the radial group prepared at 200 degrees C for 20 min after floating in water for 72 h. Water uptake in the radial groups modified at 250 degrees C for 4 and 6 min after 72 h decreased by 38% and 36%, respectively. The tangential groups did not show any statistically significant decrease. The average water uptake of the groups charred at 200 degrees C for 20 min, 350 degrees C for 2 min and 400 degrees C for 1 min was greater than that of the reference; the variability of the measured data was significantly greater due to the highly anisotropic character of the tangential specimens. Micro cracks were also visible on the surface. Concluding from the results of this study, one-sided surface charred beech wood exhibits increased potential in terms of wood-water related properties when a temperature range of 200-400 degrees C is applied.