Thermal modification is a computer-controlled process carried out in special ovens at high temperatures, using only steam and heat without the addition of chemicals.
Thermally modified wood has many advantages:
- 100% natural treatment - only high temperature and steam are used
- Wood is treated completely, not just on the surface as with chemical impregnation
- Suitable for all climates
- Increased dimensional stability and durability of wood
- Reduced water absorption
- Less distortion and stress caused by changes in humidity
- Environmentally friendly and fully recyclable
- Beautiful wood with rich colour
Thermal modification of wood is a process in which the wood material is heated to a temperature between 180-220 °C while being protected with steam. The steam not only provides protection to the wood, but also affects the chemical changes that take place in the wood.
The process of thermal modification is 100% natural and non-toxic, as only heat and steam are used and no chemicals are added. This makes thermally modified wood an eco-friendly and fully recyclable product that contains no harmful chemicals.
Unlike chemical impregnation, thermal modification improves the wood through and through, not just on the outside. This results in wooden boards that are durable and stable in all respects.
Thermal modification of wood lowers its equilibrium moisture content, allowing the material to retain its shape much better than untreated wood. The moisture content of the wood drops to around 4-6 per cent after treatment, which ensures that thermally modified wood reacts less violently to changes in humidity than untreated wood. This ensures better shape retention of the material, even with varying humidity. Heat treatment reduces wood shrinkage and slower moisture absorption. As a result, thermally modified wood performs better than untreated or chemically treated wood, even with seasonal changes.
Thermally modified wood is therefore a good sustainable alternative to tropical hardwood, which can be used both indoors and outdoors in any climate.