Rotor debarking is the most commonly used method of debarking in the sawmill and veneer industry (e.g. plywood and LVL). It is the most cost-effective method when we consider the volume of wood normally used in these fields. Among the known methods, rotor debarking is the least damaging to the wood, which makes it an excellent choice for the sawmill and plywood industries. In rotor debarking, the logs are fed into the machine one at a time. This means that the size and quality requirements placed on the wood determine whether or not rotor debarking is feasible.
Debarking improves the processes of a modern production plant in many ways. A common reason for debarking (for example, in Scandinavia) is related to quality requirements concerning the woodchips produced as a by-product. The chips, used as raw material by the pulp industry, must be sufficiently clean to be suitable for producing pulp, which is then made into paper.
Efficiency and cost savings are other reasons for introducing debarkers in sawmills or veneer/plywood factories. For instance, costs are significantly reduced in sawing and veneer peeling processes, where tool maintenance constitutes a large part of the overall maintenance costs. The reduced need for tool maintenance makes maintenance downtime less frequent and improves the efficiency of the process.
In the chipboard and OSB industry, the wood is also debarked before the manufacturing process, even though the requirements on the cleanliness of the raw material are not as strict as in the pulp industry. The raw material used is normally of a lower quality grade, which means that rotor debarking is not justified – with a few exceptions.
Whole tree debarking vs. log debarking
Wood is brought to the mill either as whole trees or logs cut to specific dimensions. At facilities that process whole trees, the debarking is normally performed before cutting.
VK has extensive experience in the debarking of both whole trees and logs. For debarking entire trees, we recommend primarily VK debarkers equipped with the air seal technology. This technology enables the logs to be stopped inside the debarker when the rotor is rotating, which facilitates the process after the debarker.