How to reduce timber waste: put your logs through a CT scanner

log scanner
© microtec

TreeHugger loves wood construction, but a lot of wood is wasted, particularly if you are looking for the high quality clear stuff. But how do you tell what’s inside? These days, you can put it through an CT scanning machine for logs.

According to Forest Future,

The Japanese market demands high-end clear boards and posts cut from fir, hemlock or balsam in metric sizes, which are used in traditional post-and-beam Zairai house design. Scanning allows the mill to identify its best logs to tailor to that product.

Watch the video and turn down the Daredevil-ish soundtrack; it is really amazing to see right inside the log. The computer calculates the best way to cut it to avoid defects, and increases yield by 8 percent, which adds up to a lot of wood. The logs fly through the machine at 590 feet per minute. It also gets the most out of "decadent", or old and decaying logs, which might otherwise go to waste. According to Microtec, the manufacturer of the scanner:

Sawing and bucking solutions are continuously optimized based on the highest quality and resale value, allowing production to be managed according to real-time priorities. Large Cone-Beam Computed Tomography is the most innovative technology for the log yard and saw infeed developed by the industry leading engineers at Microtec. This approach uses a large X-ray sensor rotating around the log and an innovative mathematical inversion algorithm to perform high speed, high resolution X-ray CT-scanning.

love logsLloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

When I was in Haida Gwaii last year as a guest of the Rainforest Alliance to look at logging, I saw how a grader would inspect each log and based on experience, assign a grade. A big L meant “love log”- a really high value piece of wood that would do well in the market. Being able to look right inside a log with a CT scanner would probably would turn up a lot more valuable wood and more love logs.

So neat to see tech that reduces waste and increases value of a renewable resource. Found in Tree Frog News

Tags: Technology | Wood Construction

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