Steam or Heat Fixation of Compressed Wood


  • Masafumi Inoue
  • Misato Norimoto
  • Mitsuhiko Tanahashi
  • Roger M. Rowell


Compressed wood, steaming, heating, permanent fixation, physical properties


Dimensional stability can be improved by either steaming or heating wood while the wood is in a compressed state. This study investigated the effect of steam or heat on fixation of compression set and the effect of these treatments on hardness, mechanical properties, and color of compressed and uncompressed wood specimens. To determine the effect of steaming before and after compression set, one group of wood specimens was steamed and then compressed, and another group was compressed and then steamed. Simple boiling and cyclic swelling tests were used to evaluate recovery of compression set. Hardness of compressed specimens was measured by the Brinell test. A two-point bending test on noncompressed specimens was used to calculate moduli of elasticity and rupture. A L-a-b color system was used to determine color changes. Compressed wood steamed for 1 min at 200 C or 8 min at 180 C showed no recovery of set, large increases in hardness, minimum decreases in mechanical properties, and slight darkening. We conclude that almost complete fixation of compression set in wood can be achieved by steaming compressed wood.


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Research Contributions