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Airflow and wood drying models for woodkilns Bian, Zhengbing

Abstract

Airflow and heat/mass transfer in a woodkiln are simulated numerically. The uniformity of drying and the quality of the wood in a kiln are strongly influenced by the airflow. A numerical model that simulates the airflow distribution is described and applied to solve the flow distribution in a kiln. The influences of the gaps between lumber pieces and the unevenness of lumber height on the velocity distribution and heat/mass transfer in the woodkiln are investigated numerically. A mathematical model for heat and mass transfer during the wood drying process is presented. The influence of kiln temperature, humidity and transport properties of wood is numerically investigated. The three key parameters in the model are moisture content M , temperature T and total pressure P in the gaseous phase. The results are compared with drying rate experiments carried out by Forintek Canada Corporation. Numerical model predictions are in satisfactory agreement with experimental results. Airflow and wood drying models are coupled to carry out a complete calculation. The model will constitute a powerful tool to optimize kiln design and to help operators improve kiln operations without entailing major new costs.

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