Standard Guide for Moisture Conditioning of Wood and Wood-Base Materials
Many physical and mechanical properties of wood and wood-based materials change in response to the environmental equilibrium moisture content, and any comparison of these properties must take moisture content into account. A consistent base for comparison among different test samples and different laboratories is necessary. Shrinkage and dimensional change in particular are dependent on moisture content, and tests involving their measurement must be conducted with good equilibrium moisture content control. Conditioning can also be important in industrial settings where there are optimum moisture content levels for many products and processes, and conformance to these levels can reduce losses in quality and yield.
1.1 This guide covers standard procedures for conditioning and equilibrating wood and wood-base materials to constant moisture content. The procedures apply to solid wood, wood-base fiber and particulate materials and panels, and wood products containing adhesives. They are intended for use in research and development activities, testing laboratories, quality control, and for all other classes of producers and users. This guide includes background material on the importance of moisture content control, important definitions and technical data, possible types of apparatus, procedures, and the importance of conditioning time. Users should recognize that the necessary degree of precision and bias varies with the intentions of the users. Some research and testing, for example, might require very close control of moisture content, whereas control in an industrial storage facility might not require such close control. This guide offers procedures that include these different requirements.
1.2 The following safety hazards caveat pertains only to the procedure section, Section 6, of this guide. This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
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