Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería de Montes, Forestal y del Medio Natural

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Abstract: The hygroscopic response of the juvenile wood of Pinus sylvestris L. from recently cut trees from the Valsain Forest in Segovia, Spain (new wood) was compared to that of the juvenile wood of the same species used in roof rafters installed at the end of the eighteenth century (old wood), which came from the same forest. The 35 degrees C isotherms were plotted using the saturated salts method, and the mathematical fit used was the GAB model. The infrared spectrums and the X-ray diffractograms were used in order to study the possible chemical variations and crystallinity indices of the cell wall. The adsorption-desorption loop of the old wood is above the loop of the new wood, although the hysteresis coefficient is higher in the old wood. The peaks corresponding to the-OH groups are similar, although the degree of crystallinity is significantly lower in the old wood. While cellulose crystallinity differs between the old and new wood, and has a major influence on wood hygroscopicity, other modifications in the amorphous components of the cell wall may have contributed to the changes in hygroscopicity between the old and new wood.