Thermal properties of bark
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): R. E. Martin
Publication Year: 1963

Cataloging Information

  • Acer saccharum
  • bark
  • elevation
  • forest management
  • hardwood forests
  • heat
  • heat effects
  • Liquidambar styraciflua
  • moisture
  • pine forests
  • Pinus banksiana
  • Pinus echinata
  • Pinus strobus
  • Populus deltoides
  • Populus grandidentata
  • Pseudotsuga menziesii
  • Quercus alba
  • Quercus rubra
  • statistical analysis
  • temperature
  • Ulmus americana
  • wood
  • wood chemistry
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 38874
Tall Timbers Record Number: 13495
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File DDW
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


The physical properties of bark are virtually uninvestigated, and the resulting lack of knowledge has relegated bark to the role of residue. Significant among these properties are thermal characteristics, which are basic to the use of bark as thermal insulation. This paper presents the results of an investigation on three thermal properties of bark. Thermal conductivity of bark from several tree species was measured by the heated probe method. Based on these results, an adequate prediction of bark conductivity can be made from knowledge of its density, moisture content, and temperature. Bark is a somewhat better insulator than wood of the same density and also exhibits less anisotropy than does wood. Specific heat and elevation of specific heat due to moisture sorption were measured using a standard laboratory procedure. Bark and wood are shown to be nearly equal in their ability to absorb heat. Thermal diffusivity of bark was calculated from measured values of thermal conductivity, specific heat, and density. Over wide ranges of bark density, moisture content, and temperature little variation of thermal diffusivity occurs.

Martin, R. E. 1963. Thermal properties of bark. Forest Products Journal, v. 13, no. 10, p. 419-426.