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Theory and practice in measuring wood grain angle using microwaves

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3 Author(s)
Jianping Shen ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., British Columbia Univ., Vancouver, BC, Canada ; Schajer, G. ; Parker, R.

Knowledge of wood grain inclination is critical for achieving improved lumber strength grading. This paper describes an instrumentation system and theory for using microwaves to measure wood grain angle in real time. By using an electrically modulated scattering dipole with a homodyne microwave system, it is found both theoretically and experimentally that the amplitude reading of the modulated scattered signal provides an excellent means far measuring wood grain angle. In addition, the phase output of the system can be used to identify the sign of the grain angle. Two widely used wood species, Douglas Fir and Spruce, are measured at different moisture levels to verify the theoretical prediction experimentally. Preliminary data analysis shows that reliable measurement of grain angles up to about 30° can be made for wood within a wide range of specific gravity and moisture content. Through the experimental measurements, the potential of such a system for industrial use is demonstrated

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Instrumentation and Measurement, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:43 ,  Issue: 6 )