Laser Incising of Wood: A Review
S. Nath, D.G. Waugh, G.A. Ormondroyd, M.J. Spear, S.F. Curling, A.J. Pitman and P. Mason
Preservative treatment is necessary to provide adequate service lives in products manufactured from low durability timbers; however, the low permeability of the heartwoods of many species leads to poor preservative uptake and penetration. To improve treatment, incising has been used to produce new flow paths. Laser incising is effective at improving flow of preservative into wood and is said to produce less mechanical damage and loss of strength than conventional mechanical incising. This review provides an overview of laser incision of woods, including the effects of laser types (wavelength and pulse duration) on incision rate, preservative treatability/retention in wood and structural changes to the wood. Best practices and further areas for development for laser incising of wood are also presented and discussed.
Keywords: Lasers, wood, incision, wavelength preservative treatment, treatability