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Madison, WI 53726-2398
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Title: Nondestructive Methods for Detecting Defects in Softwood Logs

Source: USDA Forest Service Research Paper FPL-RP-546. 13 pp.

Author(s)Schad, Kristin C.; Schmoldt, Daniel L.; Ross, Robert J.

Publication Year: 1996  View PDF »

Category: Research Papers

Abstract: Wood degradation and defects, such as voids and knots, affect the quality and processing time of lumber. The ability to detect internal defects in the log can save mills time and processing costs. In this study, we investigated three nondestructive evaluation techniques for detecting internal wood defects. Sound wave transmission, x-ray computed tomography, and impulse radar were used to examine white spruce and balsam fir logs. Computed tomography resulted in the highest resolution for voids, knots, and high moisture content areas, but at a very high price. Both sound wave transmission and impulse radar were able to detect large voids and areas of degradation, and these techniques showed some sensitivity to very knotty logs. None of the methods was able to detect small pockets of decay. The use of radar requires an experienced operator because of the difficulty of interpreting the data.


File size: 1,157 kb(s)
Current FPL Scientist associated with this product
Ross, Robert J.
Supervisory Research Gen. Engineer

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