Effects of boron treatments on partially decayed oak and pitch pine heartwood
S McCutcheon, G M Smith, J W Palfreyman, P Durrant
This paper reports results of borate based preservative treatment and leaching experiments on partially decayed oak and pitch pine heartwood. Previous experiments have shown little damage is caused to sound timber of these types when treated with Polybor and Boracol 20 preservatives. This experiment was carried out to assess the suitability of selected borate based preservatives for use in historical ships' timbers and therefore the physical effects of these preservatives on such timber was investigated. The results indicate that weight losses incurred due to treatment with Polybor or Boracol 20 are no more damaging than those incurred by treatment with water. Weight changes were more apparent in decayed timber than in sound timber with greater uptakes in non-leached samples and greater weight losses in leached samples. However, comparable weight changes were recorded between water treated samples and preservative treated samples. Dimensional changes were minimal in most cases, the greatest found in non-leached Boracol 20 samples as expected. These results indicate that treatment with these preservatives is suitable for partially decayed oak and pitch pine heartwood.