Novel scanning technology to assess wood qualities

Developed and built in-house, Scion’s new ‘DiscBot’ is a novel scanning technology designed to assess a range of wood properties that affect the quality of sawn timber and other end products. The automated disc scanner uses a robot to move wood discs past different sensors, which capture information on wood density, microfibril angle, chemical composition and spiral grain angle.

A near infrared camera is used to detect the different light absorbing qualities of lignin, cellulose and other chemicals in the wood. Wood density is measured using x-rays, and stiffness by the speed at which an ultrasound wave travels through the wood. Masked light transmission is used to detect the presence of spiral grain by measuring how light is distorted as it travels through the wood.

“As we’re aware, this technology is unique,” says wood quality scientist, John Lee. “The DiscBot will enable us to better understand the quality of wood.”

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Photo: Scion