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Combining electrical resistance and 3-D X-ray computed tomography for moisture distribution measurements in wood products exposed in dynamic moisture conditions

Building and Environment
DOI: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2013.05.026
  • Electrical Resistance
  • X-Ray Computed Tomography
  • Moisture Content
  • Wood Structure
  • Earth Science


Abstract Strength and durability of wood-based products are substantially influenced by moisture. It is, therefore, crucial to monitor the moisture content (MC) distribution in wood products to fully understand their behaviour in dynamic moisture conditions. In this paper, we present a combined X-ray CT method and an adapted version of the electrical resistance MC measurement method for detailed studies on MC distribution in wood products. The X-ray CT method is evaluated using the gravimetrically recorded MC of solid wood. Subsequently, the recorded MC of electrical method is evaluated by using X-ray CT method. Three wood products are used for this purpose, i.e. solid wood, plywood and oriented strand board (OSB) panels. It is proven that X-ray CT method can accurately determine the MC of wood products and thus has great potential for non-destructively measuring the MC distribution in 3D. Furthermore, the results show that electrical method can effectively record the local MC when the MC distribution in this region is even. Otherwise, the position of the electrodes, with regard to specific wood properties has a substantial influence on its performance. Compared with solid wood and OSB, the electrical method performs best in plywood due to its layered structure. The adapted electrical method is an effective tool for continuously monitoring the MC distribution of wood products, taking into account that the electrodes are installed correctly according to the structure of the material and research questions. Combined with X-ray CT scanning, MC distribution of wood-based products under in-service applications, can be monitored.

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