A Look at: Thermally Modified Wood

Diving into Lumber Technology

The need for outdoor wood products that will withstand outdoor conditions in challenging climates is bringing growth to the specialty manufacture of thermally modified wood products. These products typically go through a process of heating the wood to 390 degrees in a low-oxygen environment. In the process, the wood is sealed and becomes dimensionally stable.

One of the thermally treated wood companies is Arbor Wood Company of Duluth, Minnesota. Arbor’s product development was aided by a research program of the Natural Resources Research Institute, also of Duluth.

There are other specialty products that are a natural “fit” for thermally treated wood. There are companies from Estonia (Brenstod OU, Tre-Timber OU, and Ha-Serv) that specialize in manufacturing the boards that saunas are constructed from which are based on thermally treated wood.

Other specialty companies in the field focus on components for long-lived guitars. Thermally treated soundboards have become design elements of certain guitars. Thermally treated wood can help extend the lives of guitars because the thermal process can protect them from damage due to notable changes in humidity.

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