I have a customer in India that wants me to heat treat 8/4 and 10/4 green red oak before it goes in the container. How is this possible?
(Commercial Kiln Drying Forum)
From Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
Heat treating is done to kill any insects. Presently, the requirement is to heat the wood, including the core, to 133 F. To achieve this, often an air temperature of 160 F is used. Due to the risk of checking the oak lumber, you would have to do the heating at 100% RH (not even 99% RH), as the heat will certainly make checking likely if there is any drying at all. Getting a kiln to 160 F and 100% RH is next to impossible using common industrial equipment. Our present equipment is not designed to achieve such conditions. Even if you could achieve them, the conditions are rather severe and would make the structure subject to rapid deterioration. What might work is using a durable plastic bag that can withstand steam heat.
Overall, the request does not make sense, as when you customer opens the load when it arrives you will have mold and maybe even decay. The best idea is for you to dry it to around 20% MC before shipping. Due to the risk of defects, especially in 10/4, it would also be necessary for the customer to appreciate that some pieces will have a bit of honeycomb and perhaps some warp too. Have you ever dried 10/4 oak? If not, you might be surprised by the length of time involved. If your customer is in a hurry, then go with vacuum drying.