Banner for LabNotes
From Lab Notes
Contact Information
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


You are here: FPL Home  / Information Products & Services  / Publications

Requested Product

Title: Evaluation of previous measurements of water vapor sorption in wood at multiple temperatures

Source: Wood Science and Technology. 54(4): 769-786

Author(s)Zelinka, Samuel L.; Glass, Samuel V; Thybring, Emil Engelund.

Publication Year: 2020  View PDF »

Category: Journal Articles
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4716-3A

Abstract: Water vapor sorption is a fundamental physical property of wood and has numerous implications for the behavior of wood as a building material. As a result, water vapor sorption isotherms have been studied for over a century and are the topic of countless publications. Despite their importance and depth of study, there has not yet been a thorough review of these studies that can be used to guide readers to the highest quality sorption data. Sorption data acquired at multiple temperatures are frequently used for thermodynamic analysis or to validate sorption models. This review summarizes all known papers where water vapor sorption isotherms have been measured on wood at three or more temperatures and includes 27 studies published from 1930 to 2018. For each study, the quality of the data is evaluated from the experimental details listed in the publication. One of the essential details is the operational defnition of equilibrium, often specifed as a threshold for change in mass with time. Unfortunately, upon close examination of the methods, defnitions of equilibrium in many cases were not specifed or were lacking in stringency, which calls into question the accuracy of the data. In the end, only three of the 27 studies are recommended as being reliable for thermodynamic analysis or for validating sorption isotherm models.

Keywords: water vapor sorption; thermodynamics; statistical mechanics; heat of sorption

Publication Review Process: Formally Refereed

File size: 1,024 kb(s)

Date posted: 07/29/2020

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 98429
Current FPL Scientists associated with this product (listed alphabetically)
Glass, Samuel V.
Research Physical Scientist
Zelinka, Samuel L.
Materials Research Engineer

Additional items that might interest you
View the video celebrating FPL's 100 years of public service in 2010, from the producers of the Greatest Good....view

Research Highlights from FPL....view

Termite Eradication: A search for the Holy Grail.... view

Moisture Management in Residential Construction Series videos...view

Wood Floor Systems in Residential Construction Series videos....view
- FPL's Mission and Strategic Plan -

FPL's mission is to identify and conduct innovative wood and fiber utilization research that contributes to conservation and productivity of the forest resource, thereby sustaining forests, the economy, and quality of life. ... ..more »

- FPL Research Emphasis Areas -
Advanced Composites

As an integral part of the FPL mission, we improve the long-term sustainability of our Nation's forests by creating valuable composite products from biobased materials ... ..more »

Advanced Structures

The FPL has been in the forefront of wood-frame housing research since 1910 and has long been recognized as a world leader in such housing-related areas as engineered wood ... ..more »

Forest Biorefinery

We all know the compelling reasons that the United States needs to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Historically, the greatest increases in energy demand have been for transportation fuels ... ..more »


A leader in wood products research for over a century, the FPL is positioning itself to become the lead Federal research facility for the application of nanotechnology in forest products ... more »

Woody Biomass Utilization

Forests in the United States contain a substantial amount of small-diameter, overstocked, and underutilized material.FPL research projects are exploring the potential of the small-diameter ... ..more »