Browsing PhD e-theses by Authors
Measurement and monitoring of moisture content in timber and investigations of moisture gradients using dielectric measurementsJazayeri, Sina (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 1999)This thesis addresses various issues in connection with the measurement of moisture content in timber. The early parts include long term experimentally based studies which culminated in producing recommendations to existing British Standards for equilibrium moisture content (EMC) of timber in internal environments. Findings consistently showed lower EMCs than existing recommended values; these are believed to be caused by socio-economic factors. Intermediate sections of the thesis continue with tests on electrical methods of moisture content measurement to establish a basis for comparability and the claimed accuracy of currently available moisture meters in the market. To this end, the performance of a wide range of resistance-type moisture meters in worldwide use was critically investigated under laboratory conditions - it was established that even under the strict controlled conditions of the study, large discrepancies are not uncommon (as great as 13% moisture content difference was observed). While some instruments consistently underestimated, others overestimated under identical conditions. Lack of agreed standards for species corrections and temperature correction factors were found to be the main cause of disagreement between the meters. Further discussions include the layout for a proposed standard in which agreed values for species and temperature correction factors would be established. In the latter part of the thesis moisture gradients in timber, the causes and the current methods of assessment are discussed. In particular, the performance of a leading brand capacitance-type moisture meter was systematically investigated both in the absence and in the presence of predetermined moisture gradients. It was established that moisture gradients severely affect the measured moisture content. A computer controlled capacitance measurement system based on resonance detection was developed to initially replicate the behaviour of conventional capacitance-type moisture meters, and to further investigate possible moisture gradient detection protocols. Two electrode designs were used in order to investigate methods by which moisture gradients could be detected. It was shown that a multi-plate electrode can be used to detect moisture gradients in timber to depths of at least 10 mm.