Comparing Hardwood and Softwood as a Building Material in Manufacturing Outdoor Furniture
This research report will take an in depth look at the use of hardwoods, and softwoods in the manufacture of outdoor furniture. This brief target audience is technology studies students, teachers, and will specifically investigate safety aspects, structure types and availability, adhesive properties, environment issues, and durability. The hardwoods considered in this report include Jarrah, Spotted Gum, and Tasmanian Oak. The softwoods considered are Radiata, Calantis and Hoop Pine.
Hardwood is timber that has a particular type of interlocking cellular structure. The trees have broad leaves and are made up of thousands of different species. Generally Australian hardwoods used for the manufacture of outdoor furniture consist of various eucalyptus species but mainly include timbers such as Jarah (South Western Australia), Spotted Gum, and to a lesser degree Tasmanian Oak. All of these timbers are relatively harmless although the dust if swallowed, may cause abnormal conditions. The usual first aid is to drink water, and if there is abnormal discomfort, seek medical attention. Eye contact with dust may be irritant, and cause redness and watering. To be safe wear glasses to protect eys. If eye contact occurs, it is recommended to flush thoroughly with water for at least 15 minutes and if irritation persists seek medical attention. Inhaling the dust of Tasmanian Oak can cause some reparatory problem. Inhalation of dust of hardwood may be irritating to nose, throat and lungs. If this occurs leave the dusty area, or apply a mask. Hardwood dust can also be a fire/explosion hazard, so avoid sparks, the build up of static electricity, and sources of ignition in all electrical equipment and dust extraction equipment. In a fire, use water jets to extinguish flames.
Swallowing of softwood dust may cause abnormal discomfort but usually presents less problems than the three hardwoods mentioned above. Again the treatment consist of drinking water and if there is further discomfort seek medical attention. If eye contact occurs, irritation as well as redness and watering may happen so it is recommended to wear glasses while working. If dust from softwood is inhaled, irritation to the nose, lungs, and throat is possible but not common. A dust mask is always recommended when wood dust is present. Softwood should be stored in a well-ventilated area away from heat, flame, and sparks. Dust from softwood can form an explosive mixture with air, so keep away from sources of ignition.
Timber when viewed under a microscope has two main structures. Hardwoods typically characterised by large, tubelike vessels or pores. Hardwood does not necessarily mean it is hard as one of the softest timbers , balsa wood is a hardwood. The tubelike vessels in hardwood are intertwined making the timber much...