Technology

Australian Solar Timbers is the largest user of Solar Kiln technology in the Southern Hemisphere. In addition to being an efficient use of energy, the drying process within solar kilns is a gradual one, resulting a a highly stable and uniformly dried board. From the treatment of logs to Solar Kiln moisture removal, milling, finishing and packing, the entire production process is completed on one single site in Kempsey, NSW.

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In House Treatment

Boards are encapsulated within a vaccuum and pressurised cylinder for 56 minutes, at various pressure intervals of between 80kPa and 1400kPa. During this process boards are treated with an acqueous solution which is absorbed into the timber to eliminate borers and funghi.


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Initial Stages of moisture removal

Prior to curing in Solar Kilns, timber is dried outdoors bringing down moisture content to approximately 20%.


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The Solar Kiln drying process

Timber is dried in Solar Kilns at 50-60 degrees celsius, bringing overall moisture content from 20% to 10.5%. The use of Solar Kilns results in a highly stable finished product, as the process is run over a period of approximately one month, whereas conventional methods which are performed over a period of one week. Water heated by solar panels is pumped throughout the enclosure, creating a stable drying environment in terms of both temperature and humidity. Solar Kilns are operated by highly experienced technicians who carefully monitor temperatures, humidity and moisture content which all vary between species.


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Quality Assurance

Samples are taken from every individual pack of timber during the Solar Kiln drying process. These samples are tagged and recorded, with moisture content measured throughout the process to ensure that every batch has a moisture content of between 10% and 11% prior to finishing. Moisture content is measured by hand at the ends of the boards and by weight, a method which is highly accurate. Each batch of timber must be managed throughout the process and co-ordinated with customer orders and delivery schedules, across a one month drying process and a wide range of species, all which require varying drying times due to variances in density.


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Precision Engineering

Boards are milled with a maximum tolerance of 0.3mm, with variances any greater not passing quality control.


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Grading

Specialised laser quipment detects variations in timber grain and sorts boards into feature grading categories.


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Hand Sorting

All batches are checked by hand for consistency of feature prior to packing.


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