Leachability of borate-modified oriented strandboard: A comparison of zinc and calcium borate
S Lee, Q Wu
The leachability of boron in zinc and calcium borate-modified oriented strandboard (OSB) was investigated in this study. The leaching experiments were conducted by exposing edge-sealed OSB samples under running water for 8, 24, 72, and 216 hours. The results were compared with those from the unleached controls. Boron leaching of the modified OSB occurred upon the initial water exposure, and the leaching rate decreased as the leaching time increased. Borate type, initial BAE level, wood species, and sample thickness swelling significantly influenced the leachability. There was no consistent effect of polyethylene glycol (PEG) on zinc borate leaching. Calcium borate with a smaller particle size helped reduce its leachability. The glueline washing due to thickness swelling of the test samples under water and decomposition of the borate to form less water-soluble boric acid are thought to be two possible causes for the observed leaching. The relationship between assayed BAE and leaching time followed a decaying exponential function for zinc borate OSB and a Harris decaying power function for calcium borate OSB. The material constants of the regression models allow comparing leachability of the modified OSB for various wood species. A unified leaching method for treated wood composite materials is needed.