Date of Award

January 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Harmon Abrahamson


Wood is a versatile and cost-effective building material found in everyday life. However, it has a disadvantage of readily absorbing both water vapor from the surrounding air and liquid water when in direct contact. The absorption of water increases the rate of the wood decaying and can also affect the physical properties, such as warping and swelling. Previous research has looked into defining the rate of absorption by modeling it based on Fick’s second law. Fick’s second law bases the rate of absorption on a diffusion coefficient; a constant that changes with time. Herein, a new empirical model is proposed that has constants that stay fixed with time as a way to avoid using diffusion coefficients. Furthermore, the empirical model’s validity will be examined for water vapor and the effect of paint coatings, liquid water at different wood densities and temperature, and the application of the model to organic solvents.