Promoting Commercially Available Epoxy Resins for Non-biocidal Wood Preservation

IRG/WP 19-40877

P Poveda, M Mubarok, S Dumarcay, M Montibus, I Le Bayon, M Kutnik, P Gerardin, F Simon

Commercially available epoxy and polyamine resins were evaluated with the aim of developing new non-biocidal wood preservation treatments. A simple method allowing the impregnation of wood by vacuum double impregnation followed by a curing process was developed for two reference species, beech Fagus sylvatica and Scots pine Pinus sylvestris. The tested products were evaluated for their ability to improve wood’s physico-mechanical properties, such as the anti-swelling efficiency (ASE) and resistance against biological agents (fungal decay, termites, marine borers). The weight percent gain (WPG) measured throughout the experimental steps was used to optimise the treatment parameters (such as dilution of the resins, curing temperatures, impregnation sequence). The best performing treatments demonstrated highly improved resistance against fungal decay, termites and marine borers, unusual patterns of attempted termite attacks being observed. Observations conduced on the termites’ and marine borers’ behavior suggest that the treatment applied to wood induces a starving effect and thus provides an indirect protection to the treated wooden samples. SEM analyses of the treated wood samples were also performed in order to determine if the polymers impregnated into wood tend to cure inside of the wood cell walls. These analyses demonstrated that wood polymers could be cured inside impregnated resin and then protected against water-related and biological damage. The last tests performed demonstrated that improving the penetration into wood cell walls of less concentrated products/polymers and optimizing the post-curing step are major issues for improving the resistance against fungal decay.

Keywords: vacuum-pressure impregnation, epoxy and polyamine resins, curing temperature, efficacy, biocide-free preservation

Conference: 19-05-12/16 Quebec City, Canada

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