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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2019) 64(3): 13–16
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Feature article
What can colour tell us about the quality of thermally modified wood?

Diego Elustondo *,1, Andrea Stocchero 2 and Petteri Torniainen 3

1 Research Leader, Microfluidics, Scion, Rotorua. Corresponding author:
2 Researcher, Sustainable Architecture, Scion, Rotorua.
3 Managing Director, Finotrol Oy, Finland.
*Corresponding author.

Abstract: Thermally modified wood is an excellent material for wood cladding and decking. It is more stable and durable than untreated wood and it does not contain harmful chemical preservatives. However, not all thermally modified wood is made equal. The ‘quality’ of this material is determined by the processing temperature and time, and there are certain conditions that improve stability performance and other conditions that improve wood durability. Determining which is the right wood for the right application can be difficult. If something goes wrong with the treatment, either by human error or fraudulent activities, then the wood cladding or decking will fail. This paper explores the possibility of using colour measurements to determine thermally modified wood quality. The idea is simple. Is it possible to measure colour on the surface of thermally modified wood and compare with the colour that the same product would have if it was processed using the correct conditions? If the colour matches, then we know that the product is genuine.
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