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Appearance Wood Products

Hot oil thermally modified wood for flooring productsCompleted

Project leaders: Cooper, Paul


Wood can be made more dimensionally stable by thermal treatment in the absence of oxygen. The treatment also colours the wood a uniform brown colour that masks defects and gives an aesthetically pleasing appearance. We have previously investigated the use of soybean and other natural oils as a heat transfer media for this treatment. When wood is submerged in soybean oil at about 200°C for 2-4 hours the dimensional instability is reduced to about 50% of normal wood. This is a desirable effect for wood that is to be used for flooring products with under-floor heating, since the temperature change in the flooring can result in shrinkage and separation of the floor boards. At this time, China is one of the major markets for wood flooring for this application; they only permit laminate flooring for this use. For this project, we had the opportunity to work with the owner of a sawmill company (Haliburton Sawmill) who was interested in developing added-value products for under-utilized beech and soft maple woods and a design and marketing company (Qijuk Ltd.) whose principals were interested in developing a market for thermally modified wood for flooring in China.

Start date: 2011-05-28 End date: 2012-05-28



For more information on this project, please contact:

Cooper, Paul
University of Toronto
Email: p.cooper@utoronto.ca
Telephone: (416) 946-5078
Fax: (416) 978-3834
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