The company Ets Röthlisberger SA install in 2006 in Glovelier a heat treatment plant. Here are specific properties of wood amended without addition of any chemicals product or gaz. The process is an hydrolisis in a closed vessel (autoclave), therefore with good controllability and repeatability. Compared with heat-treatments using inert gas (pyrolysis), we achieve same results and colours are with 30 -50°C less and without anhydrous transition, with brings high stresses to treated timber . We offer two variations:
1. Our THERMO-treatment (also known as thermal or heat treatment) expose Hard- or Softwood to high temperatures (150 bis 200°C) for a definite duration and process, in order to increase durability and dimensional stability.
2. Our VAPO-treatment also occurs in a satured steam, but with lower temperatures. This corresponds to a high pressure steaming (HPS) and insure the perpetuation of structural properties of timber. It gives to the wood a very nice, rustical and antique appearance.
These are very ecological processes: they don't use any treatment product and allow new valorisations for our local wood species.
Thermowood has stabile dimensions: the humidity of timber is consequently reduced, and also the possible water absorbtion. Schrinkage and swelling are decreased up to 60%
Thermowood is durable: the heat treatment achieve a degradation of the hemicellulose. So becomes the timber much less attractive for wood destructing micro-organisms, fungi and insects, and therefore much more durable. Heat treated timber can be used for outside uses, but without ground contact.
Thermowood is noble: The heat treatment confere our home-grown wood species noble and precious character. New exotic wood tones are given through all the timber thickness of hardwoods, and softwoods becomes darker, similar to reclaimed wood.