The sapwood and heartwood of plantation sugi wood (Cryptomeria japonica), and plantation hinoki (Chamaecyparis obtusa) wood were flat-sawn into timbers, then kiln-dried to a MC level below 12%. These timbers were further processed into specific sizes and wetted on the surfaces, preheated at 150 °C and radially compressed into sandwich compressed timbers. Density distribution, compressed layer(s) position and thickness, surface hardness were investigated. It was demonstrated that sugi and hinoki timbers were both applicable for sandwich compression. By controlling the preheating time, sugi heartwood timber, sugi sapwood timber and hinoki timber can be all sandwich compressed, which resulted in surfaces compressed timbers, interior compressed timbers and center compressed timbers. When sugi timbers were sandwich compressed, density only tremendously increased in the earlywood. The increased density of the compressed sugi earlywood was independent of compressed layer(s) position, compressing distance or annual growth width, while for hinoki timbers compression, density increased both in earlywood and latewood. Surface hardness of the uncompressed sugi sapwood was almost twice of that of the uncompressed sugi heartwood. Surface compression sharply increased the surface hardness of sugi heartwood and sugi sapwood. Interior compression and center compression also contributed to increased surface hardness for the compressed timbers, but to smaller extents. Surface hardness change due to the surface compression was consistent with the surface average density change of timbers. Compression layer(s) position exerted statistically significant effects on the surface hardness, while surface hardness of the compressed wood was almost unrelated to the original density of the used wood or average density of the sandwich compressed wood. However, bigger compressing distance led to bigger surface hardness for the surface compressed wood.
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