Theory of transport processes in wood below the fiber saturation point. Physical background on the microscale and its macroscopic description

Johannes Eitelberger, Staffan Svensson, Karin Hofstetter

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The macroscopic formulation of moisture transport in wood below the fiber saturation point has motivated many research efforts in the past two decades. Many experiments demonstrated the difference in steady state and transient moisture transport and the inadequacy of models derived for steady state transport when used to describe transient processes. A suitable modeling approach was found by distinguishing between the two phases of water in wood, namely bound water in the cell walls and water vapor in the lumens. Such models are capable of reproducing transient moisture transport processes, but the physical origin of the coupling between the two phases remains unclear. In this paper, the physical background on the microscale is clarified and transformed into a comprehensive macroscopic description, ending up with a dual-scale model comprising three coupled differential equations for bound water, water vapor, and internal energy, as well as a simplified microscale model for determination of the coupling term.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)337-342
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Fiber saturation point (FSP)
  • Coupled diffusion processes
  • Transient transport processes
  • Dual scale
  • Phase change

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