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Volume 74 (2023), issue 4

Thermal Modification Intensity of Heat-treated Poplar Wood Part 1: Characterization and Predication of Surface Layer

Research subject and fields:

Wood heat treatment is an environmentally friendly method, and the heat-treated wood properties are closely related to thermal modification intensity. This study focuses on the 0-3 mm surface layer (SL) of poplar wood heat treated at 160~220 °C. The modification intensity, including surface color, hardness, chemical component and morphological changes of the SL, was evaluated. The findings of this research showed that the color difference of the poplar wood before and after heat treatment (ΔE*1) increased; the color difference between up-surface and down-surface of the SL (ΔE*2) also increased with the treatment temperature. Consequently, the surface hardness (HR) decreased with the increase of treatment intensity. When the treatment temperature was higher than 160 °C, the up-surface and down-surface of the SL were statistically different in color. Chemical component analysis revealed that the heat treatment degrades wood components, especially the hemicellulose, and correlation analysis showed a significant correlation between the change rate of hemicellulose and the ΔE*1 or HR value; the prediction functions have been established at a high confidence level of 0.99. Overall, the thermal modification intensity of the heat-treated surface layer (SL) of poplar wood varies, and the HR and ΔE*1 value could be used to characterize and predict the modification intensity and degree of thermal degradation of the surface layer of heat-treated poplar wood.


Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology

DRVNA INDUSTRIJA Scientific Journal of Wood Technology

ISSN 0012-6772 (Print) / ISSN 1847-1153 (Online)

Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology University of Zagreb, Svetošimunska 25, 10000 Zagreb, Hrvatska - Croatia
Tel: +3851 2352 430, E-mail:
Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Ružica Beljo-Lučić, Ph.D. E-mail: