The wood of the beech (Fagus Sylvatica L.) was steamed with a saturated steam-air mixture at a temperature of t = 95°C, or saturated steam at t = 115°C and t = 135°C to obtain a pale pink, red-brown and rich brown-red color. Subsequently, samples of unsteamed and steamed beech wood were irradiated with a UV lamp in a Xenotest Q-SUN Xe-3-HS after drying in order to test the color stability of steamed beech wood. The color change of the wood surface was evaluated by means of measured values on the coordinates of the color space CIE L*a*b*. The results show that the surface of unsteamed beech wood as well as steamed beech wood with a steam-air mixture at a temperature of t = 95°C and saturated steam with a temperature of t = 125°C darkened and turned brown to a brown-yellow color due to UV radiation. The deep brown-red color of the surface of beech wood steamed with saturated steam with a temperature of t = 135°C brightened to a brown-yellow color similar to the color of unsteamed beech wood. The analysis of the changes in the color space CIE L* a* b* shows that the greater the darkening and browning of the beech wood by steaming, the smaller the changes in the values of ΔL*, Δa* Δb* of the steamed beech wood caused by UV radiation. The positive effect of steaming on UV resistance is evidenced by the decrease in the overall color difference ΔE*. While the value of the total color difference of unsteamed beech wood caused by UV radiation is ΔE* = 15.3, for beech wood steamed with a saturated steam-air mixture at t = 95°C it decreased to ΔE* = 9.5, which is a decrease of 37.9%, for steamed beech wood steamed with saturated steam with temperature t= 115°C is ΔE* = 6.2 which is a decrease of 59.4% and for steamed beech wood steamed with saturated steam with temperature t = 135°C is ΔE* = 4.5 which is a decrease of 70.5%.
The paper presents changes in the color and acidity of Fagus sylvatica L. in the process of heat treatment of wood with saturated water steam in the temperature range t = 105 – 135°C during τ = 3 to 12 hours. The light white-gray color of beech wood with a yellow tint changes on the pale pink, red-brown to a brown-red color in the heat treatment process. The color changes of beech wood expressed in the form of the total color difference are in the range of values ΔE* = 1.97 – 26.85. Due to the hydrolysis of hemicelluloses, the acidity changes in the process of thermal treatment of wet beech wood. Decrease in acidity of beech wood in the range of temperatures t = 105 – 135 °C and time τ = 3 – 12 hours is in the range of pH values = 4.9 to 3.4. The dependence of the total color difference ΔE* on the change in acidity of beech wood is described by the polynomial of function II. degree. The above knowledge is a suitable tool for evaluating the degree of change in beech wood color in the technological process based on the change in pH of wood.