Durability of plywood made from soft- and hardwoods assessed according to ENV 12038 after artificial and natural ageing
H Leithoff, R-D Peek
Plywood was prepared from Norway Spruce and pure heartwood of Douglas Fir, Scots Pine, European Oak, False Acacia and Macoré using a phenol-formaldehyde glue. The panels of 38 mm in thickness were pre-conditioned according to the following procedures: a) 12 weeks storage at 20°C/65% rh, b) 2 weeks artificial weathering (with rain and UV-radiation at changing temperatures), and c) a natural weathering according to ENV 12037 for 3 month, 6 month and for 9 month whereby the ENV 12038 specimens were cut from the lap-joints. In general for softwood panels the decay was lowest after a 12 weeks` storage and the artificial weathering increased the decay rate more than the natural weathering applied. For False Acacia the durability was gained as predicted by EN 350-2 but not for the other species. Especially for European Oak and Macoré the durability was much lower than expected. Further, it has to be mentioned that the specimens usually showed a more intensive attack close to the nutrient media than at the top of the specimens. This indicates that the laboratory results might be influenced by the thickness of the panel tested because thinner material would be more equally degraded and thus would show a lower grade of durability.