Durability of Anogeissus acuminata timber used for plank-built catamarans

IRG/WP 05-10551

M V Rao, M Balaji, V Kuppusamy, K S Rao

Catamaran, the most versatile traditional fishing craft used along the Indian coast is made hitherto of solid timber of a few selected species of broad-leaved soft woods. Due to scarcity coupled with high cost of these timbers, the craft, of late, are fabricated from the wooden planks of an indigenous hardwood species, namely, Anogeissus acuminata (Yon) belonging to the family Combretaceae. Information on the durability characteristic of Anogeissus acuminata in marine environment is lacking. Therefore, the property was assessed at Visakhapatnam harbour, East Coast of India. Test panels of the species were pressure treated with 6% solutions of copper chrome arsenic (CCA) and copper chrome boric (CCB) wood preservatives and the treated panels along with controls in five replications were put to marine exposure trials. The tests revealed that untreated panels of A. acuminata suffered extensive damage from the wood borers, especially teredinids and were rejected in 15 months. On the other hand, CCB treated panels had undergone only 10 to 20 % destruction during the same period while CCA treated panels remained free from borer attack. However, both categories of treated panels subsequently succumbed to intense borer damage. While CCB panels were destroyed in 21 months, CCA panels were rejected in 27 months.

Keywords: Natural durability, Anogeissus acuminate, marine environment, marine borers, India

Conference: 05-04-24/28 Bangalore, India

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