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    Author(s): Raymond M. Rice; Eugene M. Wengert; J.G. Schroeder
    Date: 1988
    Source: Forest Products Journal. 39(10): 17-23.
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (75 KB)


    Surface checking in red oak causes considerable loss in lumber that is used in the furniture and flooring industry. In this series of experiments, a surface coating was applied to unseasoned, presurfaced red oak lumber in order to restrict the moisture loss from the surface to test the hypothesis that a reduction in the rate of surface moisture loss would reduce surface checking. Restricting the surface moisture loss prevents the formation of steep moisture gradients and attendant differential stresses that result in surface checking. A variety of coatings were tested using steady-state diffusion methods and small sample drying before choosing a polyvinyl acetate compound for drying tests with full-sized lumber. Three, 500 BF lumber drying tests were performed using varying amounts of coated and uncoated lumber. Two of the tests indicated that a coating is effective in reducing surface checking. The third test in which many of the surfaces were dry before the coating was applied, produced more checking in the coated than in the uncoated lumber. Although the results are preliminary the coating technique appears to be a potentially viable method of reducing surface checking if the coating is applied to very green lumber.

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    Rice, Raymond M.; Wengert, Eugene M.; Schroeder, J.G. 1988. The Potential for Check Reduction Using Surface Coatings. Forest Products Journal. 39(10): 17-23.

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