Pre-sorting strategies : sub-alpine fir industrial trial Ukpabi, Houston
Spruce-Pine-Fir (SPF) lumber is composed of different wood species with different drying properties. One comprising species, sub-alpine fir, has low permeability and the presence of wet pockets makes it challenging to dry. The projected increase in harvesting of sub-alpine fir has caused many mills to review how they can improve the way they dry wood of this species. An industrial trial was conducted to determine if the implementation of sawmill pre-sorting could be used to effectively dry sub-alpine fir after it was pre-sorted in the woodlands. The results of the trial showed that the use of three sorts could effectively dry 90 percent of the sub-alpine fir. In addition, balancing the variability between moisture sorts will achieve matching final moisture content variability between the dry sort group and mid sort group. The work is beneficial for mills with a desire of an increased production of higher margin SPF lumber.
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