Can I predict how much wood will shrink and swell?

Wood Products December 12, 2012 Print Friendly and PDF


Yes, you can predict how much wood will shrink and swell for a given set of moisture content conditions. The average dimensional change coefficients for different species have been determined and are available from the Forest Products Lab. (Wood Engineered Handbook, Table 13-5 The dimensional change in wood can be determined for moisture contents of 6-14% by the following equation:

DD = DI[CT(MF-Mi)]


DD is the change in dimension, DI, is the dimension in units of length at start of change, CT, is the dimensional change coefficient tangential directions (for radial direction, us CR), MF is the moisture content (%) at the end of change and MI is the moisture content (%) at the start of the change.


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