Wood is a “living” material and as such subject to changes in shape and size with the passage of time, due to the effect of heat and atmospheric agents. Whether it is a kitchen furniture, a wooden bathroom furniture or parquet to be used for the flooring of the house, it is important to prevent the risks associated with the loss and acquisition of moisture, which could lead to the formation of cracks or bends. . The effects of moisture on wood fibers can be devastating and ruin the aesthetics of a furniture that would lose much of its charm.
To prevent the formation of these imperfections it is essential, before processing the wood, to provide for a passage in special dryers in which the correct level of humidity is regulated and stabilized. With this process, commonly known as drying, it is possible to significantly reduce the percentage of moisture present in the fibers. To fully understand the usefulness of the drying treatment, just think that a tree that has just been cut down can have a percentage of humidity ranging from 50% to 300%. The differences are due to the different types of plants and the environment in which it developed, but even at best we would have wooden boards that are too damp to guarantee the necessary stability required for a valuable artefact. Although the tree just cut releases part of the water contained in the cellular lumens, this loss of liquids is not sufficient to guarantee its inalterability over time. In fact, observing it we could notice a visible loss of weight, which however does not correspond to the decrease in volume. This happens because the cell walls reach their saturation point only when the humidity rate reaches 30%, and it is from that moment that any further loss of moisture will also lead to the effective shrinkage of the wood. Only when all the excess water has been eliminated will it be possible to start the tree trunks for the various processes, which will transform them into elegant furniture for the living room, bathroom and kitchen furnishings, or into planks for parquet flooring.
Dried wood, what are the advantages?
The drying of wood offers many advantages, and in addition to preventing the formation of cracks or bends, it preserves the material by creating environments that are not conducive to the formation of mold, fungi or xylophagous insects. In fact, drying eliminates a large part of the humidity, which represents a source of energy for these unwanted “guests”.
While on the one hand they find their main source of nourishment in green wood, exploiting the humid environment that is created inside the material to draw energy, with drying we will create an environment that is decidedly not conducive to the proliferation of parasites. thus ensuring a significant reduction in waste.
How to dry the wood? The advantages of dryers
To make a wooden board suitable for processing and avoid future surprises, it is possible to subject the material to natural or artificial drying. In the first case it is necessary to arrange the boards in a dry and well sheltered and ventilated place: no machinery is needed since the percentage of humidity is reduced due to the effect of the air that circulates in the environment, releasing the water that moves from the center towards the external walls. However, the natural drying of wood does not allow to precisely adjust the desired humidity level, not to mention that this process takes a very long time (it can take many years before the wooden boards are workable).
The alternative, certainly faster and more precise, is given by the artificial drying of the wood, which is achieved by inserting the boards inside ventilated and dry rooms. The control of the machinery allows to have perfectly dried material in just 3/5 days through a treatment that recreates all the conditions necessary for an optimal seasoning of the wood.
The advantages of artificial drying can also be found in the subsequent phases, since if, after being subjected to the treatment, the wood is stored in an open place it reabsorbs moisture, which however stops at the cavity of the woody cell. In this way, by simply returning the material to a dry place, we can quickly restore optimal workability conditions.