DVS measurement of water vapour sorption by Pine wood

Wood is an important natural resource that is used around the world for building and construction. Since it is a versatile material from renewable sources, it is likely to continue to play a significant role in construction in the future. As such, different woods must be well characterised and their properties understood in various climatic conditions. Atmospheric changes may vary over the course of hours or years, leading to rapid or more gradual changes in structural properties. Wood is also a renewable fuel, from which energy may be extracted. However, the combustion process used to release this energy must be optimised for the moisture content of the wood, in order to maximise the energy output and minimise potentially polluting effects. Thus, understanding the mechanisms of water sorption inside wooden fuels is also an important area of research. As a biological material, wood is also susceptible to parasite infection, mould and fungus growth and natural decay processes [1] unless properly preserved. Such preservation processes may involve the treatment of wood to make it less sorbing, preventing transport of water through the material by sealing the surfaces. Dynamic Vapour Sorption (DVS) measurements can play a vital role in assessing the suitability of types of wood for construction or fuels, or assess its susceptibility to natural decay. In this application note, we demonstrate the use of the Hiden Isochema IGAsorp to determine the specific water sorption properties and mechanisms of a common wood, Scotch pine.