• Claudia B. Cáceres Laval University
  • Roger E Hernández Laval University
  • Ahmed Koubaa Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue


log sampling position in the stem, cutting width, chip size distribution, chipper-canter, black spruce


Fifteen stems of black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.) coming from the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region, were cross-cut into three sections: bottom, middle, and top logs. Logs were fragmented producing three faces with a chipper-canter using three cutting widths (CW) of 12.7, 19.1, and 25.4 mm. Chip dimensions were assessed by thickness, width, and length (Domtar and Williams classifications). Knot characteristics [total knot number (TKN) and area (TKA)] were assessed in the three cant faces. Growth ring attributes [earlywood density, latewood density (LWD), ring density, earlywood proportion, ring width and rings per mm (R/mm)], mechanical properties (shear, splitting, modulus of elasticity (MOE) and modulus of rupture in bending), and basic density were evaluated on samples obtained within each CW area. The results showed that most of these wood attributes were affected by the log position in the stem and/or CW. The weighted mean chip thickness (WCT) and chip size distributions were significantly affected by the log position and CW. WCT increased as CW increased. WCT variation with height could be principally associated to the number and size of knots within the stem. However, the presence of higher taper in the bottom logs produced thicker chips. Multiple linear regressions showed that CW, TKN, LWD, and TKA were significant predictors of WCT. Moreover, chip thickness distribution was affected primarily by TKA, cutting height and LWD, while the width and length distribution was mainly affected by R/mm, TKN and MOE. Chip size variation is to some point determined by knot characteristics, bending properties, growth ring width, and wood density of the raw material. These results showed the potential benefits of classifying logs in woodyards and better controlling the raw material attributes in sawmills. If the CW is combined with the knowledge of the raw material, chip dimensions can be adjusted using other fragmentation parameters to increase chip size uniformity.


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Research Contributions