Correlation of Wood Type and Surface Coatings with the Resistance of Water Absorption

Correlation of Wood Type and Surface Coatings with the Resistance of Water Absorption

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Wood is a porous material because of its cellular structure which allows for many internal voids (Eckelman). The plant cells located within wood are made to absorb water, as it is necessary for the functionality of the tree (“Wood and Water”, 2006). When wood first absorbs water, the water is transported and held within the cell walls. However, as these walls cannot hold a large amount of water, additional water fills the cavities of tubular cells within fibers of the wood. Wood is also categorized as a hygroscopic material. This allows for wood to naturally absorb and dissipate water within its contiguous environment. Density and water diffusivity of the wood affect the rate of absorption of water in wood (Noorolahi, Khazaei, and Jafari, 2008). The hygroscopicity of the wood aids in controlling humidity within houses. For example, if the air inside of a house is at a high humidity level the wood will naturally absorb some of this moisture in order for the environment to achieve a more balanced, stabilized state (“About Moisture and Wood”).
Woods are categorized as being either softwoods or hardwoods. Softwoods are generally from coniferous trees and hardwoods from broad-leaved trees, which are frequently angiosperms from dicot seeds. Hardwoods, unlike softwoods, display the presence of pores in growth rings. Four common hardwoods used in building include poplar, aspen, red oak, and red maple. Poplar has a fine-grained structure and has a specific gravity (ratio of density to that of water) of 25%. Aspen, another hardwood in the same genus as poplar, also has a specific gravity of 25%. Red oak is a highly porous wood and has a specific density of 75%. Lastly, red maple has a specific gravity of about 50% (Walker,...


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...., n.d. Web. 21 December 2013.
2. Dasch, E. Julius. Water: Science and Issues (Vol. 4). New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2003. Print.
3. Eckelman, C. A. “Wood Moisture Calculations.” Purdue University. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 December 2013.
4. “Latex Paint.” American Coatings Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 December 2013.
5. Noorolahi, Sara, Javad Khazaei, and Sahebeh Jafari. “Modeling Cyclic Water Absorption and Desorption Characteristics of Three Varieties of Wood.” Cabi. N.p., 2008. Web. 20 December 2013.
6. Sivertsen, Mari Sand. “Water Absorption in Coated Wood- Influence of Different Wood Types and Coatings.” Nordic Forest Research. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 December 2013.
7. Walker, Aidan. The Encyclopedia of Wood. London: Quarto Publishing, 2005. Print.
8. “Wood and Water.” University of Illinois. N.p., 18 July 2006. Web. 20 December 2013.

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