The ecological transition and the long-term strategic vision of the European Commission for a climate-neutral economy by 2050 are more and more leading the designers’ decisions in terms of use of carbon-free materials, to support the project of a “social” and “eco-sustainable” economy.  Within this scenario, the demand of thermo-modified wood – is more and more growing, combining the logic of profit with the respect for the planet and a responsible use of natural resources. 

Interview with Umberto Pagnozzi & Alessio Lucarelli, Co-Owner and Commercial Director of WDE Maspell, the inventor of an exclusive and first-in-class system to modify the wood respecting the nature.

Easy Engineering: Mr. Pagnozzi, what is basically TVS ? 

Umberto Pagnozzi: TVS is an equipment, patented in more than 50 countries worldwide, designed for thermal wood modification. The transformation is based on the use of high temperature in vacuum atmosphere, with no chemical additives. The characteristics of the final product are substantial, starting from the increase of Durability, measured according the EU norms, the modification of Mechanical Properties and of course the change of the Colour of the wood.

Of course, the Thermal Treatment under Vacuum provides many other advantages, among which we must mention that the process is totally Eco-Friendly, as practically no emissions are dispersed in the air and also the V.O.C. (Volatile Organic Compounds) are close to zero, that makes the wood Odourless compared to other thermo-treatment technologies.

E.E: Can you briefly explain us how it works and how your customers work better with your systems? 

U.P: First of all, TVS is a double-purpose system, usable both for drying and thermo-modification, in the same cell and in the same cycle ! This unique feature allows to use the cell and, in case of combined cycle (drying/thermo-treatment), to have economic saving between 9% and 30% . Once again, a really “Green” and economy-friendly technology.

E.E: How easy is the system control? 

U.P: The whole system and all parameters are controlled by PLC through a touch-screen panel or by remote using a PC, a Tablet or a Smartphone. WDE can also interact by remote, either for the drying cycle management and for energy saving adjustments, if necessary or requested by the customer.

E.E: Mr. Lucarelli, let’s now talk about safety…

Alessio Lucarelli: Well, this is a fundamental issue, I’m really pleased you asked me! The very low pressure during the TVS cycle and the almost total absence of oxygen impede the spontaneous burn of the wood that would happen at high temperatures. The atmosphere is kept inert also during endothermic phases of the wood that, by nature, would tend to the combustion.

These intrinsic safety conditions are granted and monitored during the whole cycle: so, it’s not necessary to add inertizing substances, or steam, or water jets to keep the atmosphere inert.

E.E: And what is the most important safety device in the TVS?

A.L: Well, we are surely speaking of the Automatic Inertization System by nitrogen: TVS is provided with a nitrogen inertization system, actuated by PLC through a safety electro-valve.  Fire risk in thermo-modification process is quite high, but not with the TVS. 

E.E: Well, Mr. Lucarelli, to terminate our interview: how would you define the Thermo Vacuum System, economy wise?

A.L: Our TVS is a very, very profitable equipment and its R.O.I. is absolutely outstanding: this is the main reason why many customers bought more than a unit for their sawmill, for their joinery or even for their own manufacturing plant. Our commercial approach is based on value proposition: so, we share with our customers all the calculations related to the R.O.I., deepening so much the figures, even the most critical, that they remain astonished. Albeit remaining cautious, a medium-size TVS pays back completely in less than 1 year.

That’s why all of them agree that TVS is a real game changer, a real “money-making machine”!