Moisture Content Data and Quality Control: The MMI1100

Wood Quality InspectionWood is constantly interacting with any environmental change, particularly when it involves the inevitable rise and fall of the relative humidity (RH) in its surrounding environment. Wood absorbs water vapor, or moisture when its surrounding RH rises. When the RH declines, wood will release moisture. Every wood cell holds water vapor in nature, and that water vapor remains once a tree hits the forest floor.

A wood moisture meter reads the wood’s moisture content (MC) in order to predict how the wood will react in a given environment. Why? The MC of the wood needs to reach a balance with the RH of the wood’s surrounding environment. The amount of moisture at this balance is called the equilibrium moisture content (EMC), which must be reached in order to prevent moisture-related problems. Professionals use moisture meters for wood to assess the wood’s MC during and optimally after the equilibration process.

The Benefits of Trend

With the evolution of technology, moisture meters for wood increasingly carry the capacity to store spot-checked MC readings for further data analysis. There are many benefits of using a wood moisture meter to collect MC data.

First, each wood species has distinct characteristics. There are over 1600 wood species on Earth, and they fall into two classes: hardwoods and softwoods. However, each of these classes can contain several species of woods; as an example, exotic hardwoods can include species such as Jatoba (Brazilian Cherry), Cumaru (Brazilian Teak) or Ipe (Brazilian Walnut). Many digital display moisture meters for wood can be programmed for the specific gravity (SG) of each wood species measured so that assessment results more accurately reflect the wood’s true MC. Magnify that singular distinction by hundreds of potentially-stored readings for each wood species, and one begins to understand why data collection capabilities are an important feature in the modern wood moisture meter.

Profile: The Wagner Meters MMI1100

7 year warrantyThe MMI1100 wood moisture meter from Wagner Meters measures the MC using pin-less electromagnetic wave technology. This MC tool is popular not only with furniture makers and flooring installers but also with quality control (QC) and inspection professionals.

The MMI1100 reads the MC of wood between 5-30%. Users choose the appropriate SG setting (for each wood species) and then run the MI1100 along the entire surface, getting a full board MC profile. This factory-calibrated wood moisture meter provides instant MC data for an assessment area of 2.5” long by 1.5” wide in digitally-displayed 0.1% increments. The MMI1100 is for anyone, professional and hobbyist alike, who wishes to obtain exact and immediate wood moisture meter measurements without damage to the end product.

Versatility defines the MMI1100 from Wagner Meters. In addition to measuring domestic and exotic wood species, this wood moisture meter is capable of reaching into dark and/or hard to reach areas. Its “press-and-hold” feature allows assessors to reach the hand-held meter into tight spaces, where changes in the wood’s MC can cause unforeseen future performance issues. Inspectors know that, and so does Wagner Meters. Conversely, the MMI1100 wood moisture meter can also scan many board feet of lumber or flooring in just seconds.

And the MMI1100 comes with industry-leading Wagner Meters seven-year warranty protection.

Quality Control

Inspection and quality control personnel use the MMI1100 to ensure the wood’s performance on the factory floor when manufacturing a wood product or at the building installation site. Excess MC causes many wood defects and possible product failures. Quality control personnel are mandated to verify the integrity of the wood’s MC compared against industry standards for performance and grade.

Storage capacity also empowers both wood inspectors and quality control personnel. The MMI1100 wood moisture meter can store up to 50 MC readings. This allows professionals to build MC profiles for each wood species processed at the manufacturing or building site for the purpose of assessing how the environment may be influencing the wood’s progress towards its EMC. Quality control personnel and Inspectors make moisture meters for wood a welcome addition to their tool belts.

Stacked Wood FlooringAlthough quality control personnel and inspectors find MC profiling especially useful, installers can also use the MMI1100 to assess (as an example) incoming loads of wood flooring for MC stability. Quality control begins when the wood is manufactured into a product, but contractors can ensure continued wood product performance by measuring the MC before and after installation. With ongoing MC measurement, contractors can allow the wood product to equalize on-site to its surrounding environment and can install with confidence once the wood’s EMC is reached.

The MMI1100 wood moisture meter allows users to rest assured by providing accurate MC readings. Assessors can harness its enhanced storage capacity to verify quality control at all phases of a wood product’s construction and installation.

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Larry Loffer

Larry Loffer is a senior technician at Wagner Meters, where he has over 30 years of experience in wood moisture measurement. With a degree in Computer Systems, Larry is involved in both hardware and software development of wood moisture measurement solutions.

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