Simulated Comparative Analysis of Sorting Strategies for RFV Drying
Keywords:Timber drying, stochastic model, moisture dispersion, sorting strategies
AbstractIn this work, a numerical stochastic model is used to compare three possible sorting strategies in radio frequency vacuum (RFV) drying of thick timbers, namely, moisture content based pre-sorting (MCPS), batch dry/sort/redrying (b-DSRD) and continuous or retro-feed dry/sort/redry (c-DSRD). The model parameters were calibrated with experimental data of western hemlock dried in a commercial RFV dryer, and the results of the simulations were compared to a single pass base case (SPBC). The numerical results clearly demonstrated the differences among these strategies. The MCPS showed no significant improvement in final timber quality as defined by average timber moisture content, but there is an evident improvement in both b-DSRD and c-DSRD. The comparison was based on the increment of the percent of the on-grade wood (within moisture content range) and the reduction of overdried and underdried (wets) percentages. Furthermore, it was also shown that the effective drying time is roughly independent of the drying strategy.
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