Ninane M., Pollet C., Hébert J., Jourez B. [2021] Physical, mechanical, and decay resistance properties of heat-treat wood by Besson process of three European hardwood species. Biotechnol. Agron. Soc. Environ. 25(2), 129-139

Description of the subject. In Europe, the heat treatment of native wood species is gradually becoming an industrial reality. It provides a promising alternative to both the use of naturally durable, essentially tropical woods and the use of chemical preservative treatments based on biocides.
Objectives. The aim of this study is to quantify the effect of heat treatment on the physico-mechanical and decay resistance properties of three native hardwood species (oak, ash, beech + steamed beech).
Method. The wood was heat-treated in accordance with the Besson® process. The standard physical and mechanical tests including hardness, modulus of elasticity in static bending, static bending, axial compression, splitting and impact bending strengths, have been performed on 15 treated and 15 control associated samples for each species. The standard durability test on fungi exposed 60 treated and 60 control samples to each fungus.
Results. The results show a decrease in the equilibrium moisture content and an increase in dimensional stability of heattreated wood for the three species studied. The modulus of elasticity, hardness and axial compression strength increase slightly after the heat treatment, while static and impact bending strength and splitting strength may considerably decrease. The fungal durability of oak heartwood and ash increased until class 1, beech and steamed beech until class 3.
Conclusions. The global approach of this study allows a complete and precise characterization of the technological properties of three native hardwood species after heat treatment. New uses of these native species can thus be explored.

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