Ultra-structural observations on the degradation of wood surfaces during weathering
P D Evans, S Thein
Radiata pine (Pinus radiata D. Don) sapwood was converted into blocks with a transverse face about 5 mm square and measuring 8 mm longitudinally. Transverse (T.S.), Radial (R.L.S.) and Tangential (T.L.S.) surfaces were prepared and specimens exposed to the weather inclined at 45° facing equatorially for periods of between 20-60 days. After 30 days exposure erosion of the middle lamella was observed followed after 40 days exposure by extensive separation of individual fibres at the interface of the middle lamella and secondary wall. Degradation of the S2 layer of the cell wall revealed corrugations orientated parallel to the fibre axis suggesting preferential removal of cell wall components. Further degradation proceeded by progressive delamination and checking of the S2 and erosion of the S3 cell wall layer. In addition to the above changes preferential degradation of the rays was observed in radial (R.L.S.) and tangential (T.L.S.) longitudinal surfaces.