Effect of fungal exposure on the strength of thermally modified Norway spruce and Scots pine

Sini Metsä-Kortelainen (Corresponding Author), Hannu Viitanen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Thermal modification at elevated temperatures changes the chemical, biological and physical properties of wood. In this study, the effects of the level of thermal modification and the decay exposure (natural durability against soft-rot microfungi) on the modulus of elasticity (MOE) and modulus of rupture (MOR) of the sapwood and heartwood of Scots pine and Norway spruce were investigated with a static bending test using a central loading method in accordance with EN 408 (1995). The results were compared with four reference wood species: Siberian larch, bangkirai, merbau and western red cedar. In general, both the thermal modification and the decay exposure decreased the strength properties. On average, the higher the thermal modification temperature, the more MOE and MOR decreased with unexposed samples and increased with decayed samples, compared with the unmodified reference samples. The strength of bangkirai was least reduced in the group of the reference wood species. On average, untreated wood material will be stronger than thermally modified wood material until wood is exposed to decaying fungi. Thermal modification at high temperatures over 210°C very effectively prevents wood from decay; however, strength properties are then affected by thermal modification itself.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13-23
    Number of pages11
    JournalWood Material Science and Engineering
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • bending strength
    • decay resistance
    • heartwood
    • modulus of elasticity
    • modulus of rupture
    • Norway spruce
    • sapwood
    • Scots pine
    • soft rot
    • thermanl modification


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