Methods for Studying Penetration Depth of Wood Protection Products

IRG/WP 10-20432

K Hansen, L Sites, D D Nicholas

EN 152 is an accepted standard in Europe for measuring how deep a wood protection product penetrates into the surface of treated pine wood. The method has provided consumers with a wide assortment of products that meet the specifications outlined in the standard. Because the test takes 8 or more months to carry out, artificial ageing procedures have evolved in order to standardize and speed up the procedure. Small changes in a formulation will often change a products physical parameters and especially its ability to penetrate into wood. It is therefore desirable to develop a method that can measure changes in a product’s penetrability quickly and accurately. A method is described where wood cores are drilled from treated wood, then sliced in 100 µm thick discs. Discs are then placed on nutrient agar plates seeded with conidia from Aspergillus niger. Plates are incubated for 24 hours and zones of inhibition are measured. It is believed that if a fungus is growing on the disc the biocide level will not exceed that of the fungus minimum inhibition concentration (MIC). In water based acrylic systems penetration depths are often less than one mm and it can impact the performance of a product if that changes. The procedure described in this study can show if penetration of a preservative product has been increased or reduced in as little as 24 hours.


Keywords: penetration depth, water based, solvent based, microtome, Aspergillus niger, pine wood, bio-assay

Conference: 10-05-09/13 Biarritz, France


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