On the effect of climate and exposure conditions on durability indicators and their potential for service life prediction of wood-based products

IRG/WP 16-20576

G Alfredsen, C Brischke, P-O Flæte, M Humar, L Meyer-Veltrup

In order to encourage increased use of wood, different user groups need to be better informed regarding the variation in performance between different wood materials and the effect of different use classes. It is also important to provide good empirical data on the service life of wood products as input to for example life cycle assessment studies. In the current study the effect of temperature and moisture on the performance of different wood materials in laboratory decay trials was evaluated by different approaches and compared with field exposure data. The same materials were used throughout the different tests in order to reduce variation. The durability class allocation varied, as expected, between test fungi, climates, exposure times, and decay tests. This confirms that the durability classification of a material, and the ranking between materials, is not a fixed value that can be based on one single test. Interestingly, for the most durable materials and for Scots pine sapwood (low durability) the variation in durability classification seemed to be somewhat lower than for the materials with intermediate durability. A regression model approach was used in order to predict field performance from laboratory data. However, this approach was not successful and confirms that more sophisticated models are needed in order to make good predictions of service life.

Keywords: material resistance, moisture performance, natural durability, wood modification

Conference: 16-05-15/19 Lisbon, Portugal

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