Simulations of moisture gradients in wood subjected to changes in relative humidity and temperature due to climate change

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Climate change is a growing threat to cultural heritage buildings and objects. Objects housed in historic buildings are at risk because the indoor environments in these buildings are difficult to control and often influenced by the outdoor climate. Hygroscopic materials, such as wood, will gain and release moisture during changes in relative humidity and temperature. These changes cause swelling and shrinkage, which may result in permanent damage. To increase the knowledge of climate-induced damage to heritage objects, it is essential to monitor moisture transport in wood. Simulation models need to be developed and improved to predict the influence of climate change. In a previous work, relative humidity and temperature was monitored at different depths inside wooden samples subjected to fluctuating climate over time. In this article, two methods, the hygrothermal building simulation software WUFI® Pro and the Simplified model, were compared in relation to the measured data. The conclusion was that both methods can simulate moisture diffusion and transport in wooden object with a sufficient accuracy. Using the two methods for predicted climate change data show that the mean RH inside wood is rather constant, but the RH minimum and maximum vary with the predicted scenario and the type of building used for the simulation.

Details

Authors
  • Charlotta Bylund Melin
  • Carl Eric Hagentoft
  • Kristina Holl
  • Vahid M. Nik
  • Ralf Kilian
Organisations
External organisations
  • Nationalmuseum
  • Chalmers University of Technology
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Wood Science

Keywords

  • Climate change, Climate variations, Experimental research, Hygrothermal simulation models, Measurements, Moisture transport, Relative humidity, Typical and extreme weather conditions, Wood
Original languageEnglish
Article number378
JournalGeosciences (Switzerland)
Volume8
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct 15
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes