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    Author(s): William T. Simpson
    Date: 2006
    Source: Forest products journal. Vol. 56, nos. 7/8 (July/Aug. 2006): pages 26-28.
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (95 KB)


    Heat sterilization is used to kill insects and fungi in wood being traded internationally. Determining the time required to reach the kill temperature is difficult considering the many variables that can affect it, such as heating temperature, target center temperature, initial wood temperature, wood configuration dimensions, specific gravity, and moisture content. In this study, the time required to heat the center of round, square, and rectangular wood members in saturated steam was calculated by using heat conduction equations for a number of combinations of these variables. The resulting heating times were then fit to multiple regression models, resulting in regression equations that provided a calculation method that is easier and more convenient to use than the heat conduction equations, especially considering the many combinations of the independent variables that might be of interest in heat sterilization treatments for killing insects and pathogens. Deviations between the times calculated by regression and those calculated by the heat conduction equations averaged less than 10 percent. The regression models appear to offer sufficiently good estimates of heating times to be useful in planning heat sterilization activities.

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Simpson, William T. 2006. Estimating heating times of wood boards, square timbers, and logs in saturated steam by multiple regression. Forest products journal. Vol. 56, nos. 7/8 (July/Aug. 2006): pages 26-28.


    Specific gravity, wood moisture, wood products, sterilization, timber, heat treatment, regression analysis, pest control, heat equation, moisture content, logs, heating time, heat sterilization

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