By Liam Foster Constable
Mind Map
Innovations and emerging technology
• An emerging innovation
in the timber industry is
the additional process
of microwaving wood to
dry it.
• This process is much
faster then traditional
ways of drying wood,
i.e. solar power.
Why is it needed?
• Wood contains millions of
tiny straw like cells, filled
with water and stacked
together in long rows.
• Once wood has been
sawn it needs to undergo
a long and tedious drying
process to get rid of the
water inside the log so
that the wood is useable.
How is it done?
• Immediately after wood
has been cut down it is
blasted with a brief
burst of high powered
microwave energy.
• The dried wood then
gets laid out in the sun
to dry.
• Then it is crafted into
various timber items.
How does it work
• The intense microwaves
raise the temperature of the
wet wood so fast that the
water inside the wood cells
boil. The pressure of the
steam blasts tiny holes
through some of the wood
cells to create better
connections between the
straw like cells.
• These connections make it
much easier for moisture to
Why is it better than traditional
• This emerging technology in
wood drying makes a process
that can take up to a year, take
only months or even less.
• Quicker drying means
increased processing rates and
reduced costs for the timber
industry. Then the savings can
be passed onto the consumer.
• The microwave treatment also
makes the wood more
permeable which makes wood
processing such as
preservative treatment faster.
Issues with using timber as a material
• Timber can be an
friendly and sustainable
resource but the way
that it is being
harvested and used is a
big environmental and
social issue
• Deforestation is a major
environmental issue in
the timber industry.
• When trees are
damaged and cut down
it destroys animal
habitats which in turn
sets off a chain reaction
of environmental
Climate change
• Deforestation also
contributes to climate
• Trees breathe in carbon
dioxide. With the loss of
trees around the world
due to deforestation
carbon dioxide that has
previously been taken in
by trees is instead
contributing to global
Commercial logging
• Commercial logging
companies cut down mature
trees for their timber. The
timber trade defends this
practice by saying that
'selective' logging ensures that
the forest regrows naturally.
• Most of the time in rainforests
this is untrue. Large areas of
rainforest can be destroyed in
order to remove a few logs
cheaply and quickly. The heavy
machinery used to enter the
forests and build roads causes
extensive damage.
Social issues of logging
• The lives and resources of people
indigenous to the rainforest can
be destroyed by logging
• Logging roads are used by
landless farmers to gain access to
rainforest areas. Because of this
commercial logging is considered
by many to be the biggest single
contributor to tropical
• These displaced people then clear
the forest by slashing and burning
to grow enough food to keep
them and their families alive. This
practice is called subsistence
• http://www.savetherainforest.org/savetherainfor
• http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/s
• http://www.crcwood.unimelb.edu.au/news/pres
• http://hsc.csu.edu.au/ind_tech/technology/4054
• https://bubbl.us/
• http://hsc.csu.edu.au/

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