COLOR CHANGES OF VARIOUS WOOD SPECIES IN RESPONSE TO MOISTURE
Keywords:chromaticity, lightness, moisture content, spectral reflectance, water
Color including texture and gloss is one of the most important esthetical attributes of wood. For any porous materials in contact with water, the phenomenon of surface darkening arises from a change in the refractive index, as water enters air-filled pores. For the first time, this research investigated to what extent MC differences affect the surface color, below fiber saturation and after the pores are filled with water, with respect to extractive contents. Samples from 13 wood species were exposed to various climates, and as soon as EMC was reached, the color was determined. Color changes were also recorded after water submersion and also after vacuum impregnation in water. Chromaticity parameters a* and b* widely increased, along with higher moisture contents. Lightness changesweremostly stable at lower moisture contents.An exceptionwas demonstrated by the heartwood species black locust, plum, walnut, and oak, which showed a brightening effect at lowermoisture contents, followed by the darkening phase. The overall darkening of wood at high RH is connected to capillary condensation. Liquid water present in the cell lumen most caused darkening and an intensification of hue (increase in a* and b*). Darkening was even more expressed after vacuum impregnation with water. In conclusion, with only limited fluctuations in moisture contents below fiber saturation, the expected color changes are minor to neglectabl
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