Producing E. Urophylla sawnboard for furniture making

Nguyen Quang Trung

Research Center for Forest Industry 

E. urophylla is one of the main species planted under the 5 Million hectare afforestation program in Vietnam. The E.urophylla plantation area is increasing across the whole country but the utilization of E.urophylla wood is not equal to its potential.

Although E.urophylla wood’s physical and mechanical properties are similar to Acacia species and some other natural forest species, the utilization of E.urophlla timber for furniture making is limited because of the deformation of E. urophylla wood during processing; including end splitting, spring, bow, and shrinkage.

Study into the use E. urophylla timber as a raw material for sawn boards for furniture making  not only contributes to reduce the lack of raw material for industrial furniture production but also increases the value and diversity of plantation products and contributes to improved incomes of forest owners and the sustainable development of E. urophylla plantations in Vietnam.

E. urophylla plantations at 7 and 11 years old are the object of this study. We established  random plots to determine the diameter of standing trees and used non-destructive methods to determine physical properties of E. urophylla wood; applied the Vietnamese technical standards to determine wood mechanical properties and to classify E. urophylla timber raw materials (logs and sawn boards), set up control trials to compare the deformation of logs and sawn boards during sawing and drying. This study also considered the possibility of using E. urophylla wood for furniture production.  

E. urophylla plantations in many regions have about 20% of trees with a DBH of 12 cm in 7 year old plantations and more than 60% of trees have a DBH of 18cm in 11 year old plantations. E.urophylla wood is a hard wood with a medium density. In comparison to acacia, E.urophylla wood has shrinkage in both tangential and radial directions, is stronger than acacia wood but E. urophylla wood’s MOR and MOE are lower which means that E. urophylla wood is crisp. End splitting is the most common deformation of E. urophylla logs and sawn boards. The shrinkage of E. urophylla is lower than the same situation with E .camandulensis but higher than acacia timber. E .urophylla wood doesn’t require special machines for furniture making. The current equipment in Vietnam which is being used for furniture industrial processing are suitable. Furniture products made of E. urophylla wood have a nice grain and color. E. urophylla wood is a good material to use with adhesives and paint, even when treated by preservatives.           

Controlling the moisture of logs and sawn boards can reduce the end splitting of products, and the shrinkage of boards will be reduced if they are treated before kiln drying and dried in kilns which can control the temperature and humidity of the drying environment. The drying process was depending on the initial moisture of the wood and sawn board dimensions.

To get high saw log quality, the E. urophylla plantation should be applied suitable silvicultural technical measures and the advanced saw machines could be improved sawn board quality and recovery rate of sawing process.

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