Softwood

Last updated

Scots Pine, a typical and well-known softwood Pinus sylvestris wood ray section 1 beentree.jpg
Scots Pine, a typical and well-known softwood

Softwood is wood from gymnosperm trees such as conifers. The term is opposed to hardwood, which is the wood from angiosperm trees.

Contents

Characteristics

Softwood is wood from gymnosperm trees such as pines and spruces. Softwoods are not necessarily softer than hardwoods. [1] In both groups there is an enormous variation in actual wood hardness, the range of density in hardwoods completely including that of softwoods. Some hardwoods (e.g. balsa) are softer than most softwoods, while the hardest hardwoods are much harder than any softwood. The woods of longleaf pine, Douglas fir, and yew are much harder in the mechanical sense than several hardwoods.

Softwoods are generally most used by the construction industry and are also used to produce paper pulp, and card products. [2] In many of these applications, there is a constant need for density and thickness monitoring and gamma-ray sensors have shown good performance in this case. [3]

Certain species of softwood are more resistant to insect attack from woodworm, as certain insects prefer damp hardwood.

Examples of softwood trees and uses

Applications

Softwood is the source of about 80% of the world's production of timber, [6] with traditional centres of production being the Baltic region (including Scandinavia and Russia), North America and China. Softwood is typically used in construction as structural carcassing timber, as well as finishing timber.

See also

Related Research Articles

Woodworking Process of making objects from wood

Woodworking is the activity or skill of making items from wood, and includes cabinet making, wood carving, joinery, carpentry, and woodturning.

Wood Fibrous material from trees or other plants

Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of trees and other woody plants. It is an organic material – a natural composite of cellulose fibers that are strong in tension and embedded in a matrix of lignin that resists compression. Wood is sometimes defined as only the secondary xylem in the stems of trees, or it is defined more broadly to include the same type of tissue elsewhere such as in the roots of trees or shrubs. In a living tree it performs a support function, enabling woody plants to grow large or to stand up by themselves. It also conveys water and nutrients between the leaves, other growing tissues, and the roots. Wood may also refer to other plant materials with comparable properties, and to material engineered from wood, or wood chips or fiber.

Douglas fir species of tree

Pseudotsuga menziesii is an evergreen conifer species in the pine family, Pinaceae. It is native to western North America and is known as Douglas fir, Douglas-fir, Oregon pine, and Columbian pine. Despite its common name, it is not a true fir. There are three varieties: coast Douglas-fir, Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir and Mexican Douglas fir.

Lumber Wood that has been processed into beams and planks

Lumber, also known as timber, is a type of wood that has been processed into beams and planks, a stage in the process of wood production. Lumber is mainly used for structural purposes but has many other uses as well.

Pinophyta Division of plants including extinct and current conifers

The Pinophyta, also known as Coniferophyta or Coniferae, or commonly as conifers, are a division of vascular land plants containing a single extant class, Pinopsida. They are cone-bearing seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. All extant conifers are perennial woody plants with secondary growth. The great majority are trees, though a few are shrubs. Examples include cedars, Douglas firs, cypresses, firs, junipers, kauri, larches, pines, hemlocks, redwoods, spruces, and yews. As of 1998, the division Pinophyta was estimated to contain eight families, 68 genera, and 629 living species.

Plywood

Plywood is a material manufactured from thin layers or "plies" of wood veneer that are glued together with adjacent layers having their wood grain rotated up to 90 degrees to one another. It is an engineered wood from the family of manufactured boards which include medium-density fibreboard (MDF) and particle board (chipboard).

<i>Pinus radiata</i>

Pinus radiata, the Monterey pine, insignis pine or radiata pine, is a species of pine native to the Central Coast of California and Mexico. It is in the Pinaceae family.

Hardwood Wood from dicot trees

Hardwood is wood from dicot trees. These are usually found in broad-leaved temperate and tropical forests. In temperate and boreal latitudes they are mostly deciduous, but in tropics and subtropics mostly evergreen. Hardwood contrasts with softwood.

<i>Picea mariana</i> Species of plant

Picea mariana, the black spruce, is a North American species of spruce tree in the pine family. It is widespread across Canada, found in all 10 provinces and all 3 Arctic territories. Its range extends into northern parts of the United States: in Alaska, the Great Lakes region, and the upper Northeast. It is a frequent part of the biome known as taiga or boreal forest.

Deck (building) Surface similar to a floor, but typically constructed outdoors and connected to a building

In architecture, a deck is a flat surface capable of supporting weight, similar to a floor, but typically constructed outdoors, often elevated from the ground, and usually connected to a building. The term is a generalization of decks as found on ships.

<i>Tsuga heterophylla</i>

Tsuga heterophylla, the western hemlock or western hemlock-spruce, is a species of hemlock native to the west coast of North America, with its northwestern limit on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, and its southeastern limit in northern Sonoma County, California.

Janka hardness test

The Janka hardness test measures the resistance of a sample of wood to denting and wear. It measures the force required to embed an 11.28 millimetres (0.444 in) diameter steel ball halfway into a sample of wood. A common use of Janka hardness ratings is to determine whether a species is suitable for use as flooring. For hardwood flooring, the test usually requires a 2" × 6" sample with a thickness of at least 6–8mm, and the most commonly used test is the ASTM D1037. When testing wood in lumber form the Janka test is always carried out on wood from the trunk of the tree and the standard sample is at 12% moisture content and clear of knots.

Coconut timber

Coconut timber is a hardwood-substitute from coconut palm trees. It is referred to in the Philippines as coconut lumber, or coco lumber, and elsewhere additionally as cocowood or red palm It is a new timber resource that comes from plantation crops and offers an alternative to rainforest timber.

This glossary of woodworking lists a number of specialized terms and concepts used in woodworking, carpentry, and related disciplines.

Reclaimed lumber

Reclaimed lumber is processed wood retrieved from its original application for purposes of subsequent use. Most reclaimed lumber comes from timbers and decking rescued from old barns, factories and warehouses, although some companies use wood from less traditional structures such as boxcars, coal mines and wine barrels. Reclaimed or antique lumber is used primarily for decoration and home building, for example for siding, architectural details, cabinetry, furniture and flooring.

Heat bending is the procedure of bending thin sheets of wood into different curves and shapes using moisture and a bending iron. By placing the sheet of wood into water, the moisture and heat from the bending iron will reform the structure of the wood, reorganizing the fibers of the wood to prevent the wood from springing back to its original state. This process is usually used for making sides or "ribs" for violins, guitars, mandolins and other projects, and also for woodworking such as shaker-style pantry boxes.

The Northwoods are the boreal forest of North America, covering about half of Canada and parts of Minnesota, Maine, Montana, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont.

Brettstapel

Brettstapel, also known as dowellam, is a massive timber construction system, fabricated exclusively from softwood timber posts connected with hardwood timber dowels. It is a relatively simple method of construction that exploits low grade timber, not normally suitable for use in construction, to form load bearing solid timber wall, floor and roof panels.

<i>Lyctus carbonarius</i>

Lyctus carbonarius is a wood-boring beetle in the family Bostrichidae, commonly known as the southern lyctus beetle or lyctid powderpost beetle. It is a serious pest of hardwoods including ash, hickory, oak, maple and mahogany and can infest many products in the home including hardwood flooring and structural timbers, plywood, furniture, tool handles, picture frames, baskets and ladders. Timber can be infested in one location and then be transported large distances by ship, after which the beetles can emerge and spread the infestation to new areas.

References

  1. Buckley, Michael (2005). "A basic guide to softwoods and hardwoods" (PDF). worldhardwoods.com. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  2. Ryan, V. (2012). "REVISION CARDS - SOFTWOODS". technologystudent.com. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  3. Beigzadeh, A.M. (2019). "Design, modelling and construction of a continuous nuclear gauge for measuring the fluid levels". Measurement. 138: 157–161. doi:10.1016/j.measurement.2019.02.017.
  4. "Things we make from softwood trees". forestry.gov.uk. 11 July 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  5. Harding, T. (1988). "British Softwoods:Properties and Uses" (PDF). forestry.gov.uk. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  6. United Nations Forest Products Annual Market Review 2007-2008 , p. 46, at Google Books