The Effect of Wick Action upon Moisture Distribution in Ellagate Treated Pinus radiata Wood

IRG/WP 06-40328

S R Przewloka, B J Shearer, J A Hann

Sapwood stakes of Pinus radiata D. Don were treated with water-soluble tetraguanidinium, tetracholine and tetrakis-benzyltrimethylammonium ellagates. The effect of these treatments upon moisture distribution was investigated by wick action. Given that chemical reactions within the wood substrate between nutrients and treatment solutions may alter the properties of the wood with regard to moisture distribution, the presence of Cu2+ in the system was also examined. Incomplete saturation of the stakes, due to air embolism within the wood, was noted after 92 days of soaking. Percentage saturation was dependent upon the ratio of moisture uptake to moisture loss. Saturation was greatest at the base and at the air/water interface of the stakes. The high moisture content at the interface was due to moisture evaporation from the top of the stakes overcoming the influence of air embolism. The effect of the chemical treatments trialed and Cu2+ upon moisture distribution in the stakes was negligible. Cu2+ was not relocated to any significant extent, it is proposed that it was fixed by the formation and precipitation of an insoluble copper-ellagate complex within the timber.

Keywords: moisture distribution, wick action, ellagic acid, water-soluble ellagates, copper chelation

Conference: 06-06-18/22 Tromsoe, Norway

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