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Verifying the thermal treatment of wood

absorbancefight against counterfeitsNIR spectroscopythermal wood treatmentwood packaging


A method and a related device for fast, precise and efficient verification of the accuracy of thermal treatment for wood sterilization in compliance with legal norms. By using the near infrared absorption spectroscopy, the presence of a temperature gradient along the detection points of a characteristic section is verified, indicating the treatment received. In this way, it permits to identify eventual treatment violations, mistakes or anomalies.

Technical features

In order to prevent the spread of harmful agents nested in raw wood, and thus to protect living trees, it is necessary to apply a sterilization treatment to timber before placing it on the market. Legal norms require that the timber used for  packaging should be thermally sterilized for 30 minutes at not less than 56°C and marked with an approval mark (“HT” code). The present method and device allow to fight against counterfeits of the “HT” mark, to verify the accuracy of the thermal wood/timber treatment, or to detect possible anomalies.
The received thermal treatment is analyzed through the identification of a plurality of points on the internal section of the wood, at different distances from the same edge, at which the property of wood is measured in terms of IR light absorbance: the presence a T gradient shows the accuracy of the thermal treatment. Moreover, through calibration the estimation of the local T treatment can be done.

Possible Applications

  • Timber and wood packaging verification at customs and other control authorities.


  • Fast and accurate measurement of thermal wood modifications, even minimal (for T < 100 ° C);
  • Quantitative data (estimation of the T treatment received);
  • Effective technique;
  • Non-complex measuring technique;
  • Technique adoptable both in the field (e.g. at customs authorities) and in the laboratories.