Disillusionment with SATA rules


A PPECF-funded study to improve primary wood processing yields found that SATA grading rules are inadequate for the African wood market.

The SATA grading rules were developed by the CTFT in 1976 and reissued by CIRAD in 2004. This document mentions in its preface a decision by the ATIBT to take these rules as a reference. These rules have been built on the same principle as the NHLA and MGR grading rules, where the material yield is estimated for the qualification of each board. It seemed obvious that these rules allowed the optimization of material yields in sawmills.

For this target, the ATIBT has requested financial support from the PPECF to encourage manufacturers to use the SATA rules. Sawyers remained sceptical both about the difficulty of applying the rules in the field given their complexity and about the demanding expectations of their customers. Therefore the ATIBT carried out a study of the impact of grading rules on material yield. Unfortunately, the two on-site missions concluded that the SATA grading rules do not improve material yields at all.

Therefore, ATIBT recommends that professionals do not use the SATA grading rules. CIRAD was asked to gradually eliminate references to SATA rules in all publications such as atlases and Tropix.