Cellular and fractural failure after supercritical fluid impregnation of four wood species

IRG/WP 04-10503

M E Anderson, R J Leichti, J J Morrell

Supercritical fluids (SCFs) have been investigated for delivering biocides into sawn wood. Pressure differentials during treatment may exceed the compressive or tensile strength perpendicular to grain, creating a potential for transverse deformations that exceed elastic strain limits. Wood treated by SCF processing with CO2, a potential biocide carrier, was inspected macroscopically and microscopically. Both cell wall damage and smooth fracture surfaces appeared in the cellular structure. Damage was related to the rates of pressurization and venting and appeared to be species-specific. Cell walls were damaged during pressurization, whereas fracture damage occurred during venting. Specimen dimensions, permeability and anatomical structure are critical variables in developing SCF processes for biocide treatment of wood and wood-based products.

Keywords: Supercritical fluid, carbon dioxide, Douglas-fir, white oak, Engelmann spruce, yellow-poplar, wood anatomy, mechanical effects

Conference: 04-06-06/10 Ljubljana, Slovenia

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