Impact of temperature and ultraviolet radiation on changes of colour of fir and spruce wood

This study deals with the investigation of impact of temperature and ultraviolet (UV) radiation on spruce wood (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) and fir wood (Abies alba Mill.) colour changes. Samples of investigated woods species were loaded by temperatures of 110, 130, and 150°C and UV radiation (with 253.7 nm wavelength and 40 W m-2 intensity) during 72, 168, 336 and 672 hours. Colour changes were evaluated in the CIE Lab colour space. The neural network for prediction of both colour coordinates and total colour difference of spruce and fir wood was trained by data regarding exposure conditions (temperature, UV radiation and time) and by obtained results. Coefficient of determination (R2) of the neural network was above 0.99 for training, validation and testing. Average colour coordinates (± standard deviation) of the spruce and fir wood before exposure were L* = 80.08 ± 3.70, a* = 7.55 ± 2.13, b* = 21.56 ± 1.79, L* = 80.46 ± 1.91, a* = 6.84 ± 0.97, and b* = 18.90 ± 1.26, resp. Total colour differences after thermal loading were in the interval from ΔEab* = 3.76 ± 1.95 (spruce wood at 110°C) to ΔEab* = 45.37±1.46 (fir wood at 150°C). Total colour differences of both wood species exposed by UV radiation were approximately in intervals from ΔEab* = 12 to 13 (after 72 h) up to ΔEab* = 16 to 20 (after 168 to 672 h). Obtained results proven that both temperature and UV radiation have significant impact on the colour changes of the investigated woods.

Colour change of photodegraded spruce wood by water leaching

Spruce samples (Picea abies Karst.) were irradiated by strong ultraviolet (UV) light emitter mercury lamp and another series of specimens were treated with the combination of UV radiation and water leaching. The total duration of UV radiation for both series of specimens was 50 days. The colour parameters (CIE L*, a*, b*) were measured and evaluated after both UV radiation and water leaching. The increase of redness value was two times greater than the yellowness increase based on the initial value at the end of 50 days treatment. The leaching partly removed the yellow and red chromophore molecules generated by the UV radiation. The samples become slightly lighter after water leaching. The leached samples increased slightly more in yellowness and redness during the first 4-6 days of UV radiation than those of the dry series. The change of surface roughness of the specimens was monitored by diffuse reflectance infrared spectroscopy, because the change of roughness alters the light scattering properties of the surface. The roughness of the samples increased during the UV irradiation, and the tendency of roughness change mirrored that of yellowness change. The leaching reduced the roughness value in all examined cases. Good correlation was found between the hue angle and the lightness in both dry UV treatment and combined UV treatment and water leaching.

Colour stability of steamed black locust, beech and spruce timbers during short-term photodegradation

Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.), beech red heartwood (Fagus sylvatica L.) and spruce (Picea abies Karst.) wood samples were treated in saturated steam at 100, 110 and 120°C then irradiated using a UV emitter mercury lamp in order to test their colour stability. Colour change was evaluated and presented in the CIE Lab colour coordinate system. Untreated black locust, beech and spruce specimens as control samples were irradiated using the same mercury lamp. Results revealed that beech produced the greatest colour stability during both steam treatment and the following UV treatment while spruce was the most sensitive species to photodegradation. Steaming reduced the colour change intensity only for black locust during photodegradation. Both redness and yellowness change demonstrate this colour stability increase. Steaming at 120°C resulted in the greatest protection against the colour alteration of black locust caused by photodegradation. The investigated thermal treatments did not change the photodegradation properties of beech and spruce specimens. A considerable increase in colour saturation of the specimens was generated by steaming, and the saturation value further increased during the UV treatment.