An important part of the wood protection research process is the use of a program of highly focused appropriate and thorough testing of developmental technologies prior to market introduction. One aspect of this is to utilize field tests such as those shown below, with the testing carried out in an appropriate range of climates and geographic locations. It is recognized that one can utilize Climate Indices which estimate the rate of wood decay above ground, the algorithms used in such indices for any given location being dependent on known periodicity and extent of rainfall over time, as well as mean temperatures associated with the moisture. Such Climate Indices are not, however, good predictors of decay rates of wood in soil contact, which are also driven by soil type and fungi which may or may not be present in the soil. There are a large variety of field test methods available and many of these are described in more detail through the links to their specific webpages below .
Another aspect of research within the IRG has been the establishment of a Durability Database where members and sponsors are able to input field test data in order to establish a comprehensive database and expand and share our knowledge between members. This relatively recent initiative is led by Dr Christian Brishke at the University of Hannover in Germany.
As part of our mission to provide information on research activities within the field of wood protection globally, we have developed interactive maps to access information on field test sites both globally and additionally within Europe. The Global Field Test Sites map and the European Field Test Sites map use test site locator hover buttons to click on and access images of each test site, and then clicking on each of these test site images provides a direct link to more extensive information and additional images of each test site.