Wood Products – maintaining Equilibrium Moisture Content (EMC)

  • Maintaining the Equilibrium Moisture Content (EMC) in the woodworking industry is a KEY factor to improving both the quality and integrity of the products produced.
  • The EMC is the moisture content within the wood fibres where moisture is neither gained nor lost. Maintaining a stable EMC prevents undue stress and dimensional changes to the wood. This will result in both higher quality products as well as higher profit margins.
  • It is generally accepted that the ideal EMC for wood products is between 6% and 11%, depending on geographic location and climate conditions. To accomplish this, humidity levels of 25% to 50% need to be achieved and controlled in pulp and paper mills and wood joineries.
  • As wood becomes dimensionally stable at its fibre saturation point -  preventing it from decreasing or increasing beyond that level will help eliminate wood shrinkage, swelling, warping, splitting and cracking !

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