#3: What is P(max) ?

Now it is getting interesting !

Different kinds of wood sink at different pressures. The graph above shows five types of wood treated for 10 minutes with a range of pressures, as shown in the x-axis. The height of the line, in the y-axis, shows the length of time the samples sank.

At a critical pressure, the wood samples sink for a long time, as shown by the sharp upturn of the graph lines. We tracked it for a few weeks, and concluded that the samples would stay sunk forever. We called this pressure P(max), because applying more pressure than this is not necessary to sink wood permanently.  We will say more about this in a later post.

Actually, even at pressures less than P(max) , the wood samples did sink, but for only a small amount of time. You have to look closely to see this, at the bottom of the graph. There is a better way to view this, and we will describe it in the next blog post.