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Sensors 2011, 11(6), 5716-5728; doi:10.3390/s110605716

Using Acoustic Sensors to Improve the Efficiency of the Forest Value Chain in Canada: A Case Study with Laminated Veneer Lumber

1,* , 1
1 Centre de recherche sur le bois, Université Laval, 2425 rue de la Terrasse, QC, G1V 0A6, Canada 2 Fibre-Gen, Unit 5 Amuri Park, 404 Barbadoes Street, Christchurch, New Zealand
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 March 2011 / Revised: 10 May 2011 / Accepted: 17 May 2011 / Published: 27 May 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors in Canada)
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Engineered wood products for structural use must meet minimum strength and stiffness criteria. This represents a major challenge for the industry as the mechanical properties of the wood resource are inherently variable. We report on a case study that was conducted in a laminated veneer lumber (LVL) mill in order to test the potential of an acoustic sensor to predict structural properties of the wood resource prior to processing. A population of 266 recently harvested aspen logs were segregated into three sub-populations based on measurements of longitudinal acoustic speed in wood using a hand tool equipped with a resonance-based acoustic sensor. Each of the three sub-populations were peeled into veneer sheets and graded for stiffness with an ultrasonic device. The average ultrasonic propagation time (UPT) of each subpopulation was 418, 440 and 453 microseconds for the green, blue, and red populations, respectively. This resulted in contrasting proportions of structural veneer grades, indicating that the efficiency of the forest value chain could be improved using acoustic sensors. A linear regression analysis also showed that the dynamic modulus of elasticity (MOE) of LVL was strongly related to static MOE (R2 = 0.83), which suggests that acoustic tools may be used for quality control during the production process.
Keywords: acoustic sensors; forestry wood chain; laminated veneer lumber acoustic sensors; forestry wood chain; laminated veneer lumber
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Achim, A.; Paradis, N.; Carter, P.; Hernández, R.E. Using Acoustic Sensors to Improve the Efficiency of the Forest Value Chain in Canada: A Case Study with Laminated Veneer Lumber. Sensors 2011, 11, 5716-5728.

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