The field of science and technology of wood is very broad. Separate books exist that cover subjects dealt with in only chapters or parts of this book. For example, there are books dealing with anatomical structure, wood—water relationships, mechanical properties, various industrial products (lumber, plywood, particleboard, etc.), and other aspects of wood (and bark). This book, however, is a concise, comprehensive presentation of the total subject.
The contents is presented in four parts, and developed into 29 chapters. Part 1 is a discussion of wood structure, dealing with macroscopic, physical and microscopic characteristics, chemical composition and ultrastructure, the mechanism of wood formation by trees, variation of structure, and abnormalities in wood.
Part II deals with properties: density (specific gravity), hygroscopicity, shrinkage and swelling (dimensional changes), mechanical, thermal, acoustical, and electrical properties, and degradation of wood by bacteria, fungi, insects, and other destructive agents.
Part III is devoted to utilization (i.e. to products made by primary processing of wood) – namely, roundwood products, lumber, veneer, plywood, laminated wood, particle board.fiberboard, and pulp and paper. Additional chapters refer to drying, preservation, adhesion and adhesives.
An Appendix includes: (i) a brief discussion of secondary products made by mechanical processing (furniture, etc.), products of chemical utilization, wood as a source of energy. and other forest products (foliage, pine resin, etc.); (ii) a detailed treatment of specific woods (North American, European, and some important tropical species) with regard to identification, geographical source, properties and uses; and (iii) a discussion of bark (including cork) with regard to structure, properties, and utilization.