The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of heat treatment and compression on the swelling and surface roughness of Southern red oak (Quercus falcate
Michx.) and Southern pine (Pinus taeda
L.). Specimens were exposed to temperature levels of 110 °C or 200 °C for 8 h before they were compressed using 2.5 MPa pressure for 5 min. Swelling values of the control and heat-treated samples in three grain orientations were evaluated by soaking them in water for 48 h. A stylus method was employed to determine the surface characteristics of the samples. Three main roughness parameters, namely mean arithmetic deviation of profile (Ra
), mean peak-to-valley height (Rz
), and maximum roughness (Rmax
) were used to evaluate the effect of heat treatment on surface characteristics of the samples. Oak and pine specimens had 39.8% and 28.7% lower tangential swelling values, respectively, than those of control samples as a result of exposure to a temperature of 200 °C. Heat treatment did not make any significant difference on surface quality. Micrographs taken from cross sections of the specimens revealed that there was some cell distortion and modification due to heat treatment as well as compression. Combination of heat treatment and compression can be considered an alternative method to improve certain physical properties of these two species.
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