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Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


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Scientists study how water changes wood

Phase diagram describing the states of water in wood.
Phase diagram describing the states of water in wood.
Snapshot: Water causes a host of wood damage mechanisms such as mold, decay, fastener corrosion, and splitting. This research elucidates how water changes wood and leads to these wood damage mechanisms.

A fundamental understanding of wood-moisture relations is the cornerstone for designing and building durable wood structures; however, one of the most important concepts in wood-moisture relations, the fiber saturation point, has been given several different theoretical and operational definitions and its current meaning is ambiguous. This research presents a thermodynamics method for calculating the fiber saturation point by treating the fiber saturation point as a phase boundary and shows how this concept can be used to build a phase diagram for wood. The phase diagram includes the glass transitions of various wood polymers and the states of water in wood as a function of temperature and composition.
Princpal Investigator(s):
 Zelinka, Samuel L.
 Glass, Samuel V.
 Jakes, Joseph

Research Location:
  • Forest Products Laboratory

External Partners:
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison

Fiscal Year: 2017
Highlight ID: 1282
Related Research Emphasis Areas: