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Effects Of Defects On Timber Due To Poor Seasoning And Conversion Methods (Research Paper Sample)


It was a case study, a research work


1.1 Background of the study:
The dawn of the twenty first century saw an increase in demand for timber both as a furniture material and as a structural element. This increase in demand can be traced to the fact that timber as a material, is easily handled due to its light weight when compared to steel and the fabrication process in which it is cut and sawn in to different sizes
In the construction industry, it has remained an invaluable material and we see the manifestation of its importance as it is being used as roof trusses and as a formwork for insitu concrete operations
Nigeria is a country that is blessed with so many natural resources like petroleum, palm products, fruit and timber just to mention a few but how to conserve and harness this resources has always pose a major problem from time immemorial.
In Cameroon, which is one of our closest neighbouring country,there is a factory which is meant solely for the processing of mango fruit and that alone has created about two thousand jobs for their citizens but in Nigeria, we find the same mango fruit being misused by lacking poor facilities and methods of preservation which is one of the major components of conservation. If resources are not preserved properly, they will not be conserved for future purposes.
Timber is no exception among the resources lacking proper practices in its preservation and for a country like Nigeria that is blessed with alot of forest trees especially in the Southern part of the country, proper methods of preservation are to be employed in other to obtain the optimum benefits of the timber which can also serve as a major source of revenue for the government. However, when adequate methods of preservation and processing of timber are not employed, it leads to various defects in the timber which will cause it to loose its value significantly, thus leading to wastage of resources.
Defects in timber has always been a major challenge to the wood industry because the quality of the material is usually determined by the methods of seasoning and conversion employed.
There are various kinds of defects in timber which include cup, check, bow, boxheart and miscut but research has shown that most likely the defects do occur as a result of improper seasoning process(Soronis, 1992; Chew et al., 2004; Blocken et al., 2012),(Kubba, 2008; Ahzahar et al., 2011)
A study done by Chew (2005) identified that among 14 major defects at walls and floors are water leakages through cracks, water leakages through pipe penetration, and water leakages through joints.
Defects in timber plays a major factor to be considered as it determines the quality of the material in its end product . With the advent of technological breakthrough, various methods have evolved over the years which can be employed to reduce these setbacks.
When timber are defects free, we can be sure to obtain the maximum benefit.
Most timber processing factories are faced with a lot of challenges leading to timber defects which goes a long way to reduce the quality of the end product and a decrease in income. Amongst such challenge is poor seasoning methods, which is one of the major causes of defects such as bow, cup and honeycomb.
Bad methods of conversion also leads to some defects in timber such as boxedheart and machineburnt which reduces the value of the material.
In general, defective timber gives poor appearance when used as finishes and can also leads to building collapse when used as a structural member. This normally occur when the moisture content is greater than 20%
The study aim to analyze the various defects in timber as they affect the quality of the material and to see to what extent they affect the building industry.
The study also seek to analyze the various seasoning and conversion process involved in timber and to see how they can cause various defects in timber when inadequate measures are employed during these processes.
The possible suggestions offered in these study will seek to reduce if not eliminate all the various defects in timber as regards to seasoning and conversion.
The study should have included the entire Boss local government but due to the various constraints dealing with research work, coupled with the fact that the writer is a student with so much academic work ahead, the study was restricted to the four walls of Gidan Kwano campus of the federal University of Technology Minna, Niger State.
The research aims at testing the following hypothesis with respect to timber defects
The Null: Improper methods of wood seasoning and conversion has lead to most occurrence of defects in timber
Alternate: Improper methods of wood seasoning and conversion process play a minor role when it comes to timber defects
The Null: Defects in timber contribute to most reduced value in timber, thus leading to enormous wastage
Alternate: Defects in timber plays no role in terms of wood wastage
The Null: Improper seasoning of timber causes high moisture content in them which will inturn lead to wood failure and poor finishes
Alternate : Improper seasoning of timber plays no significant role in its moisture content and results to no poor finishes.
The following are the list of the research questions
1: To what extent does timber defects contribute to its reduced value
2: How does poor methods of wood seasoning and conversion lead to its defects
3: How would high moisture content lead to wood failure and eventually poor finishes
The study hopes to expose the bad practices involved in wood seasoning and conversion and how it affects the entire timber market. It will also help students who intends to specialise in building materials in which timber constitute a major part as regard the qualities they should look out for in timber
It also states how to avoid the various practices that would lead to timber defects which will inturn boost their income and increase the chances of success.
Seasoning: The process of removing the moisture content from wood
Conversion : The process of cutting wood into marketable sizes
Timber :The end product or wood that has undergone seasoning and conversion
Wood: The part of a tree which is made of trunk and branches
There are various kinds of defects that occur in timber. Some are caused during the growth of the tree while others are caused as a result of poor seasoning and conversion methods.
In his research work, chew (2005) identified that among the various causes of defects in timber, poor seasoning methods accounted for about 40% which leads to a considerable amount of moisture content in the timber. This moisture can in thus lead to building defects and their eventual collapse according to a research paper he submitted in late 2006.
His research pinpointed the various defects and their causes and he went further to discuss how the moisture can travel from wet area to dry area in buildings. The major aspect of his research work was focused on moisture content in timber resulting from poor and improper seasoning where he revealed how various artificial seasoning methods do account for the main causes of defects in timber and how they can be prevented. He stated that while the artificial method of seasoning remains the fastest method, cracks can result when the wood is subjected to a very high temperature in the kiln method of seasoning.His research work proved to be of great importance especially in the aspect of artificial seasoning but the research was restricted to soft wood which has a poor compressive and tensile strength when compared to the traditional hard wood.
A study done by Pheng and Wee (2001) on 53 buildings in Singapore identified that the numbers of building defects are less when the building is constructed by wood from factories that meet the ISO certified required standard when compared to those that do not. The result showed that 9 per cent of dampness defect and 11 per cent of stain defect occurred on building constructed by the non ISO 900 certified contractors compared to none of dampness defect and 10 per cent of staining problems happen on building constructed by ISO 9000 certified contractors. The discussion concludes that the number of building defects can be reduce by using specialist and skilled workers. This shows that improper handling of timber during its conversion process and poor methods of conversion do cause some defects in timber.
In a research done by Mahmud (2007) on timber conversion process among 7 major sawmills in Enugu state, he observed that some logs of wood that were stacked to closely to each other developed some defects while the rest that were widely spaced after the conversion process developed no defects.
He concluded that when there is no proper circulation of air within the spaces, the logs of wood do developed some defects as a result of poor air circulation.
He also stated some factors that do enhance the attack of timber by fungi among which he mentioned a moisture rich environment to be the major cause but he never did pinpoint the various ways to ensure optimum circulation of air within the logs of wood.
Defects in timber for most type of woods do occur from inadequate seasoning and poor handling and conversion methods base on previous research work and the purpose of this study is to find a to reduce if not eliminate the various defects as they affect the overall end product when used in construction and as furniture.
Inasmuch as this research aims to analyze the defects in timber, it also take into cognisance the various constraints und...
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