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    Two wood plastic composite (WPC) boards, one experimental and one commercial, were exposed to exterior conditions and evaluated non-destructively using a clinical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) unit for moisture content (MC) and distribution. The experimental board was exposed in Vancouver, British Columbia, for more than 8 years, and the commercial board was exposed near Hilo, Hawaii, for 2 years. Both boards were characterized in terms of wood content, density, water uptake properties and voids content. The experimental board was additionally destructively analysed for water absorption of the WPC and MC calculated based on the wood content for verification of MRI results. MRI detected the presence of free water and its distribution in both of the WPC boards. Fibre saturation in the experimental board was found to be about 22–24%, in comparison to 25–30% present in most wood species. There was good correlation between the detection of free water by MRI and by destructive testing. Magnetic resonance images showed various major points of water entry in the WPC boards such as the support area, the cut ends, the dripping edge and the sides of the boards. For the experimental board, significant water entry also occurred at the upper exposed surface.

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    Gnatowski, Marek; Ibach, Rebecca; Leung, Mathew; Sun, Grace. 2014. Magnetic resonance imaging used for the evaluation of water presence in wood plastic composite boards exposed to exterior conditions. Wood Material Science and Engineering, 2014; 18p.


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    Computed tomography, exterior exposure, magnetic resonance imaging, moisture content, water absorption, wood plastic composite, void analysis

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