One of the most common causes of defects in a product is due to too much, or too little, moisture in the substrate. This is caused by changes in the humidity of the air surrounding the wood, causing it to expand, warp or shrink.
Wood moisture should be at 6-9 percent to prevent defects. In order to ensure that the wood is at its optimal moisture content for manufacture, the regular use of moisture meters -whether pin, pinless or in an inline system - is essential to the production process.
What follows are some of the moisture meters available in the U.S. marketplace. For an extensive listing of wood moisture meter and moisture detector companies, visit RedBookOnline.com.
Lignomat USA Ltd. offers the Moisture Tracker and Data Logger for moisture and humidity, with a built in out-of-range alarm. It can be used for storage and tracking during manufacturing, transportation, installation and at the customer site. The Moisture Tracker can help monitor moisture changes, and it functions as three different, permanently installed moisture meters and a station to measure relative humidity, says the company. (800) 227-2105, Lignomat.com
Delmhorst Instrument Co. says its TechScan offers non-destructive moisture measurement with RF technology and a user-adjustable alarm to cover large areas and locate high moisture spots. For hard-to-reach areas, the Hold feature will freeze readings onscreen for convenient viewing. It also features a species correction chart and built in calibration/battery checks. TechScan is made in the USA. (877) 335-6467, Delmhorst.com
Wagner Meters’ DataMaster is a smartphone-size, wireless, handheld device that, when used in conjunction with the Rapid RH BT Reader and the Rapid RH 4.0 EX Smart Sensor, allows the user to acquire the internal relative humidity and temperature via Bluetooth technology. This data can then be uploaded, if desired, to f2170reports.com, ensuring data integrity and proper data documentation to comply with ASTM F2170-11. (541) 582-0541, WagnerMeters.com
Brookhuis America Inc. says its FMI-X inline moisture measuring system offers a precise and fast way to measure without touching the material. The Control Unit features an extensive software program that is completely menu-driven and offers a multi-lingual program and report generator to transfer statistics to a PC or printer. The FMI-Z also has the ability to sort. (855) 650-9663, Brookhuis.com
General Tools & Instruments says its MMD7NP non-marring LCD Moisture Meter with Tricolor Bar Graph delivers a wide measurement range, deep measurement depth and fine material definition. It has a measurement range of 0 to 53% for hardwood and 0 to 35% for softwood with an accuracy of ±4%. Below the LCD, a bank of colored LEDs roughly mirrors the digital reading in bar graph format. (212) 431-6100, GeneralTools.com