Canadian Forest Service Publications

Feasibility of using X-ray scanning to characterize mountain pine beetle check severity for optimizing log sorting and lumber manufacturing processes. 2009. Brdicko, J. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, BC. Mountain Pine Beetle Working Paper 2009-25. 61 p.

Year: 2009

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 31198

Language: English

Series: Mountain Pine Beetle Working Paper (PFC - Victoria)

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (download)

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Checks that develop in trees killed by the mountain pine beetle (MPB) cause lumber value losses from 17% to 40%. Studies have shown that sawing patterns can be adjusted to minimize the effects of the checks and that lumber recovery and value losses can be reduced significantly if check locations and depths were accurately known. This research has shown that X-ray scanning systems with six views can detect and characterize larger open checks with an accuracy that depends on the check width and orientation relative to the direction of X-rays. A series of sawmill breakdown simulations of checked logs was used to determine the potential increase in value recovery and return on investment (ROI) from using X-ray scanners for optimization of log sorting and breakdown of MPB-killed trees. These simulations showed that a six-view scanner has the potential to correctly identify 50% to 60% of the checks and, when this information is used to optimize manufacturing of lumber, can on average increase the value recovery by approximately 50% of the theoretical maximum that a perfect X-ray scanner would achieve. A sensitivity analysis determined that the ROI of a six-view X-ray scanner is insufficient when the log supply is lightly checked. However, for log supplies mainly comprised of medium- to severely checked logs, the ROI can be as high as 27%.