Physical barriers against marine borers based on synthetic polymers
A Lozano, D Lorenzo, M Alonso, J J del Coz, F Álvarez
Currently in Spain there are no chemical treatments that are really effective against attacks of marine bores in civil constructions within more or less permanent contact with seawater. On the other hand there are also no physical barriers that allow easy placement or execution, and much less offer a minimum guarantee of performance in the medium or long term. In fact, in these recent years there has been an alarming increase of the level of damage caused by these xylophages in our country, where several structures along the entire coast are ruined to a greater or lesser extent, and now many of them have been closed to the public. Some of these constructions are less than five years old. In this sense, the possibility of using projections of synthetic polymers, sometimes combined with the application of certain amino acids, has been raised, so that the entire system behaves as a real physical barrier with a very simple application, unalterable against the action of water and UVA rays, and able to ensure the durability of timber structures in contact with seawater, regardless of the species of wood used. The paper describes a timber walkway located in a population of northern Spain and the significant degradation of its wooden elements due to a combined attack of the most common marine bores in this country (Teredo navalis and Limnoria lignorum). The study also includes the first results of the field tests carried out on some wooden elements, taken from the same structure, and treated on site with this type of physical barrier.