Effect of double-vacuum and vacuum-pressure impregnation with water-borne preservatives on the dimensional characteristics of spruce
J Van Acker, M Stevens, G Rustenburg
Air-dried planed spruce (Picea abies) samples were treated with a water-borne preservative (micro-emulsion) and one oil-borne type both containing azaconazole and deltamethrin. Each set of samples contained equal number of specimens with different growth ring orientation, heartwood content and density. In addition to the preservative retention and the penetration of a.i., the swelling of the samples was measured immediately after impregnation and further after 6, 24 and 48 hours. The growth ring figure induced different uptake levels when the impregnation process was intensified. Gradual increase of tangential surfaces reduced the retention. The effect of the wood properties on liquid absorption seemed to be greater for the oil-borne treatment. Volumetric swelling of the test samples treated with the water-borne solutions ranged from 0,5 to 0,6% immediately after double-vacuum impregnation increasing to a maximum of 0,8% 6 hours later. Subsequent air-drying of treated samples did not produce checking nor deformation. The oil-borne preservative gave rise to a swelling 3 to 4 times less. A swelling of 0,8% for spruce treated with a water-borne preservative may be considered acceptable taking into consideration volumetric movement figures of 1 to 1,5% for tropical hardwood species, classified as low movement timbers.