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  FORESTRY SYMPOSIUM 1996

TIMBER KILN DRYING PRACTICES IN SRI LANKA

H Mahinda Goonasekara

Timber Kiln Drying is a necessary practice, in order to achieve the law ( 6 -10 % ) wood moisture levels as required by high quality furniture manufactures and other wood product exporting industries. Kiln drying is gaining ground over air seasoning as it produces better, quality timber irrespective of weather conditions are in a short period of time, causing less degrade to timber.

Over 90% of the timber Kiln dryers available in Sri Lanka today are preoccupied with drying rubber wood. All the modern Kiln dryers are available at large rubber wood products exporting companies, and are used exclusively to cater to their needs. About 25 smaller Kiln dryers are also drying mainly rubber wood for larger rubber wood products exporting companies. There are locally improvised kilns. These smaller Kilns seem to work well for rubber wood especially in those kilns with steam or hot water heating systems. Although they lack modern kiln control equipment, satisfactory drying is achieved for rubber wood and albizia. Two major kiln types are illustrated in this paper.

Much larger and more efficient timber kiln drying practices should be developed in Sri Lanka for drying an increasing amount of rubber wood products and for drying newly emerging timber resources (Pinus, Eucalyptus etc.) from forest plantations.

 


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