Assessment of the marine borer resistance and abrasion resistance of lesser known hardwood timber species for use in marine construction

IRG/WP 10-10711

J R Williams, G S Sawyer, G Malyon, S M Cragg, J D Icely, J Simm, M Meaden

Naturally durable species of timber are used as an alternative to preservative treated timber for marine structures, but many species have not been evaluated for their potential for use in this environment. EN 275 specifies a 5-year test period - too long a period for screening tests to be economically viable. In this study, candidate timber species were selected for testing both in the laboratory and in the sea to establish their resistance to marine borer and abrasion. Comparative resistance was assessed by comparing the rate of deterioration observed in candidate species of lesser known hardwoods against that for greenheart and ekki which were used as benchmark species. A number of lesser-known timber species originating from South America and West Africa performed comparatively well in laboratory tests and over an eighteen month exposure period in the sea. Resistance to marine borer attack did not necessarily correlate with resistance to abrasion.

Keywords: marine borer, natural durability, lesser known species, abrasion resistance

Conference: 10-05-09/13 Biarritz, France

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