Treatment of wood with fire: the pros and cons

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Treatment of wood with fire: the pros and cons
Treatment of wood with fire: the pros and cons

Many dream of eco-friendly housing made of wood on the lake. But the durability of wood is a concern. Over time, it undergoes aging and decay. Despite this, natural wood is very popular and widely used in interior design.

Wooden elements are treated with anti-mold compounds, fire-fighting oils. However, these substances are not always environmentally friendly. Not many people know that there is a great alternative - wood processing by fire. This method appeared several centuries ago.

In this article we will look at all the pros and cons of processing wood with fire, talk about the features of this technology.

Processing wood with a burner

History of technology

The first mention of wood burning appeared at the beginning of the eighteenth century. At this time, the inhabitants of Japan massively burned cypresses. Seeing the burnt trunks of these trees, people became interested in their properties. In many ways, this contributed to the discovery of technology. After examining the wood after firing, the Japanese realized thatthis method of processing prevents the problem of rotting, insect damage and burning. After that, they began to apply the method everywhere. They gave the name of this technology - Yakisugi, which means "cedar languishing". This is due to the fact that in Japan, cedar is most often used in construction. It is used in the manufacture of fences, wall and facade decoration. The method of processing wood by burning allows you to extend its life for decades.

It is noteworthy that a similar processing technique existed in Russia. It became a kind of prototype of modern firing. The material in this case was simply placed in the fire. At the same time, it was only partially burned. Basically, the lower part of the pillars was subjected to fire treatment, which were then used for construction. In addition, boards for the roof and floor were fired. In Russia, this method was called "smoking".

Staircase made of wood

Structural changes in wood during firing

The structure of wood is such that when building up layers under the bark, a kind of pores appear in it. As a result, fibrous cells die. Due to the high porosity and the displacement of fibers, wood acquires the main and most valuable feature - excellent hygroscopicity. Thanks to this quality, it is able to give and absorb water, depending on the difference in the humidity of the environment and its own.

The second no less significant feature is the uneven structure. This is due to the formation of cellulose polymers, resins and sugars duringtree lifetime. Such substances are the main organic components of the plant. They also cause the main disadvantages of wood - flammability and the formation of a favorable environment for fungi and pests.

In order to reduce the tree's exposure to external influences, several protection methods are used. First of all, this is autoclave heating and creosote cooking of wood. During the procedure, the material is exposed to high temperatures, due to which hemicellulose formations are destroyed. They are the main cause of ignition of wood. It is almost impossible to carry out such an operation at home. But there are a number of other more accessible methods for partially blocking pores and removing polymers. One of them is burning wood with fire.

Many people do not understand why wood should be subjected to such treatment. Experts also know that firing contributes to the narrowing of the fiber channels of the tree. In addition, they are clogged with resins and combustion products. Thanks to this, the life of wood is extended for decades.

The facade of the building is finished with burnt boards

Properties of burnt wood

Japanese fire treatment of wood gives the material a special shade and emphasizes its natural irregularities. This method is different from others. After Japanese languor, wood can be impregnated with various oils once every 4 years, which allows you to extend its strength. In addition, paint can be applied to the surface. However, after treating a tree with fire, few people want to change the color.material.

Varieties of firing

The appearance and decorative value of fire-treated wood can vary. It depends on the purpose of the material, the technology of its processing and the depth of firing. To date, there are three types of firing, differing from each other in depth.

Firewood ceiling

Full firing

This type of wood processing by fire is carried out by placing the material in vacuum ovens. The temperature in them can reach 400 degrees Celsius. Wood that has undergone full firing is rarely used. This is due to the fact that, even with the initial high strength, after processing, the wood loses its mass and greatly decreases in size. In addition, its operational properties are lost. But such wood is still used in the manufacture of furniture.

Deep firing

This process is carried out in open ovens. In this case, the depth of burnout of the upper layer should not exceed two centimeters. This method is used for processing wood that was in use. The surface, subjected to this firing method, acquires a refined appearance. The wood acquires a hue that can vary from graphite to deep black. Thanks to this feature, it is possible to imitate valuable breeds.

It is impossible to get this color of the tree using other methods. This is why deep fired material is especially appreciated by designers.

Fire-treated wood floor


This method is the most popular. Its essence lies in the uniform burning of wood with a gas burner. In this case, only the upper layer is processed, the thickness of which does not exceed 5 millimeters. The popularity of this method is due to several factors. First of all, this is the availability of burners necessary for burning wood and the simplicity of the procedure itself. It is noteworthy that the material processed in this way acquires increased strength and an unusual texture. Surface-fired wood is used for both interior and exterior decoration.

Pros and cons of technology

Treatment of wood by fire has several significant advantages. First of all, this technology eliminates the use of chemicals that can potentially harm human he alth. Equally important is the simplicity of the technology. You can burn wood at home without any special skills. Wood treated with this technology is resistant to fire, which increases the degree of fire safety of the premises where it is used. This is due to the fact that burned wood does not ignite again. Fire-treated wood is an environmentally friendly material, protected from the effects of fungal organisms and bacteria. During the firing process, the cellulose particles of wood are destroyed, which are a favorable environment for pests. The key feature is to increase the strength of the material through firing.

However, such wood has one drawback -labor costs. The firing process involves not only fire treatment, but also its preliminary cleaning, and further processing with oils and varnish.

Burnt wood fence

Which types of wood are best suited for fire treatment

It is believed that any wood is suitable for firing. However, for those who want a unique visual effect, experts recommend using only certain breeds. It is noteworthy that initially only cedar was used in traditional Japanese technology. Later, they began to process beech and hornbeam with fire. Burning, such wood acquired a gray color, which shimmered beautifully in the light. This effect can be achieved by burning the top layer of wood.

To date, such species as maple, alder, poplar are especially popular in firing. If you need to get a surface with a fine texture, then in such cases larch and walnut are used.

In the construction of baths, mostly only birch is used. This type of wood under the influence of fire becomes porous and acquires a low heat capacity. Due to this, under the influence of temperatures, it cannot burn the skin.

An interesting fact is that the same wood can appear differently. It directly depends on the firing method. But in any case, it is important to properly prepare the material for processing.

The wood to be fired should be slightly damp. The maximum allowable is 13%. In addition, the material should not have traces of paint coatings. He must becompletely cleared. In this case, this is important, because the resinous substances absorbed into the wood will appear unevenly on its surface during firing. This will greatly ruin her appearance.

Burnt wood design

Does wood need additional protection after firing

Burnt wood has a number of advantages over conventional wood, but it still needs additional protection. After initial cleaning, its surface is treated with oil. Then the product is covered with a layer of a special protective varnish. If the burnt wood will be used for outdoor work, it is best to cover it with synthetic wax. It, in turn, must be dissolved in turpentine. This will increase the protective properties of the wax several times.

Proper fire treatment can extend the life of wood and make it more environmentally friendly. It is noteworthy that today firing is also used in horticulture. Fire treatment of shrubs and trees in early spring allows you to get rid of a number of diseases and pests. But the firing technology in this case is completely different.

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