Journal article Open Access

Characterization of Arctic Driftwood as Naturally Modified Material. Part 1: Machinability

Daniel Chuchala; Anna Sandak; Kazimierz A. Orlowski; Jakub Sandak; Olafur Eggertsson; Michal Landowski

Arctic driftwood has reached the coast of Iceland for centuries. This material was used by the inhabitants of the island as a building material for houses, boats, churches and pasture fences. Nowadays, the driftwood is used in the furniture industry, for the finishing of internal and external walls of buildings and also by artists. The properties of driftwood differ to that of original resource due the long-term effects of exposure to Arctic Sea water and ice. This process can be considered as a natural modification, even if its effect on various wood properties and the potential use of driftwood are not yet fully understand. This research is focused on the comparison of cutting forces measured for Siberian larch (Larix sibirica L.) from Siberia provenance and driftwood found on the coast of Iceland. The cutting forces were determined directly from the cutting power signal that was recorded during the frame sawing process. A new procedure for compensation of the late/early wood ratio variation within annual rings is proposed to homogenize mechanical properties of wood. It allows a direct comparison of machinability for both types of larch wood investigated (driftwood and natural). Noticeable differences of normalized cutting force values were noticed for both wood types, which were statistically significant for two set values of feed per tooth. These results provide a new understanding of the effect of the drifting process in the Arctic Sea (natural modification) on mechanical and physical properties of wood. Such a natural modification may influence transformation processes of driftwood as well as performance of the coating systems applied on its surface.

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