Durability of heat-treated wood

IRG/WP 99-40145

D P Kamdem, A Pizzi, R Guyonnet, A Jermannaud

Heat-treated wood from the French process were laboratory tested against decay using agar block test and a modified soil block test. Water absorption, bending strength, lignin content and acid number were also determined to evaluate the effect of heat treatment. Heat treated samples exhibit a higher lignin content and a lower acid number compared to untreated control indicating the degradation of some hemicellulose and extractives compounds. The significant amount of water absorbed during water soaking or exposure to different relative humidity suggest that the heat treatment help in releasing the stress in wood after the removal of hemicellulose and degradation of lignin rather than the reported significant cross link reaction of organic acid and the benzene ring of lignin. Cubes extracted with water or acetone or chloroform and challenged with pure culture of fungus show an appreciable weight loss which confirm the absence of any extractable compounds toxic to decay fungi during the heat treatment. After 12 weeks exposure for laboratory soil block or 6 to 8 weeks for agar block test, significant weight loss was observed. For soil block test, weight loss of 11% was obtained for heat-treated samples exposed to G. trabeum and 46% for P. placenta. About 56% and 54% weight losses were obtained for southern pine control exposed to G. trabeum and P. placenta, respectively. The weight loss of water and acetone extracted heat-treated sample exposed to P. placenta was 49.7% and 53.9%, respectively. Only about 11% and 14.8% weight loss was obtained for water and acetone samples challenged with G. trabeum. The moisture content of tested sample was about 70 ±10% for the un-heated control and 50 ± 10% for heat-treated samples. This treatment may modified the durability from non resistant to moderate/resistant species depending on fungus species as defined in the ASTM 2017 standard. The data from the bending test indicate that such treatment may create a 10 to 50% reduction in MOR and deflection which will limits the use of such wood for structural purposes.


Keywords: HEAT-TREATMENT; RETIFIED; PINE; EXTRACTION; DECAY; SPRUCE; MARITIME PINE; PINASTER; POPLAR; BEECH; ASH; BIRCH; BENDING; MOE; MOR; WATER ABSORPTION; DEFLECTION; LIGNIN; ACID NUMBER; SOIL BLOCK

Conference: 99-06-06/11 Rosenheim, Germany


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