What is Wood HT treatment and why it's important

The wood heat treatment is a necessary operation to modify the physical properties of the material and thus guarantee furnishing elements that cannot be attacked by pathogens. Nobody would like to have a beautiful piece of furniture ruined by moths or mushrooms in the living room, right? This happens because in its natural state the wood is rich in water, oxygen and sugars, three ingredients much loved by insects and lignivorous fungi. Their presence risks seriously compromising the stability of the structure. But how to eliminate this risk? The best system known today is to eliminate at least one of the three components much appreciated by unwanted guests of the wood.

What is Wood HT treatment and why it's important

Chemicals such as boron salts, creosote or copper sulphates can be used to poison the food pathogens found in wood fibers. It is certainly an effective method, but it also has a big disadvantage: not only are these substances effective on wood sugars, but also toxic to humans. So how can we manage to have woods that are unwelcome to pathogens and fungi, but at the same time safe for humans? The answer lies in the heat treatment.

The process by which the wood is thermally modified offers many advantages, which aren't limited to greater duration over time but extend to characteristics that can be observed right from its processing. The heat-treated material not only increases stability and durability, but is much lighter, resin-free and pleasant to the touch. Even the possible formation of twists is considerably reduced, so the boards treated with this method will in all respects be the ideal material for the creation of prestigious furniture.

How the vacuum heat treatment of wood is carried out

What has just been said already allows us to understand that the heat treatment of wood is a completely natural process, which is carried out inside special bivalent cells to perform drying and high temperature treatment. The wooden material is then dried first and the level of humidity present inside the wood drops to almost zero.

Once this first phase is completed, we proceed with the actual heat treatment, in which the wood is subjected to temperatures that can be between 190 ° C and 210 ° C (depending on whether you want to obtain a product intended for internal or even external use. ). At these temperatures the wood undergoes a chemical change and the sugars present in the cells change and stabilize the shape of the cell itself. Once the desired level is reached, the temperature is kept constant for 2/3 hours. In this phase the high heat could generate fires and it is for this reason that the chambers in which the high temperature treatment is carried out provide for vacuum processing, i.e. in the absence of oxygen.

At the end of this step it is necessary to cool the wood and give it back some of the humidity necessary to ensure good processing. A special system that does not use water allows the wooden material to be brought back to a temperature of about 80/90 ° C, while the steam restores the desired percentage of humidity in the wood. 

The wood, after cooled and with a minimum percentage of humidity of about 8%, is ready to be processed, where it will take the form of elegant furniture intended for the most exclusive furnishings.