Louro Preto (Nectandra cuspidata) Wood Drying in Microwave Oven
ABSTRACT Microwave drying will play an important role in the industrialization of timber in the near future, because improved dimensional stability and increased mechanical strength of wood are dependent on its drying. The objective of this study was to evaluate the drying of Louro preto wood using the microwave process and its influence on drying time, final moisture content, and formation of checks. A program originally developed for Mahogany wood was used due to the similarity between the basic density values of the two wood species. To this end, three (3) drying processes were conducted: drying S1, with initial average moisture content above the fiber saturation point (FSP), reached 13.99% of the final average moisture content after 2h 25min; whereas drying S2 and S3, with initial average moisture contents below the FSP, showed 14.00 and 14.62% of the final average moisture content after 2h 8min and 2h 2min, respectively. The drying processes were considered fast, and the difference in the initial moisture contents of the samples showed the influence of the treatments in the formation of end and surface checks. Drying S2 was more prone to present surface checks than end checks, whereas internal checks were not found in any of the drying processes performed.