Main Article Content
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of steam treatment prior to drying on the initial moisture content, moisture gradient, and drying rate in Eucalyptus dunnii Maiden wood. Boards were steamed at 100ºC for 3 h after 1 h of heating-up. Part of these boards was dried in a drying electric oven at 50ºC, and part was dried at kiln. The results showed that the steaming prior to drying of wood: (1) significantly reduced by 9.2% the initial moisture content; (2) significantly increased by 6.2% the drying rate; (3) significantly decreased by 15.6 and 14.8% the moisture gradient between the outer layer and the center of boards and between the outer and intermediate layers of boards, respectively. Steamed boards when dried in an oven showed drying rate of 0.007065 whereas in kiln were 0.008200 and 0.034300 from green to 17 and 17 to 12% moisture content, respectively. It was demonstrated that the steaming prior to drying can be suitable for reduces the drying times of this kind of wood.