Colour change monitoring of photodegradation in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) – a short term focus
V Sharratt, C A S Hill, D P R Kint
Colour change monitoring of photodegradation is a quick and easy method for monitoring rates of photodegradation in timber. A study was undertaken to compare this technique to other monitoring methods, including microtensile strength changes and weight loss. Colour changes due to accelerated sunlight exposure were monitored using a Datacolor check spectrophotometer and compared with a set of controls. Measurements on both samples and controls were performed hourly for the 1st 24 hours and there after daily until 168 hours’ exposure with extra measurements at 200, 350 and 500 hours. A subset of samples, were extracted prior to exposure to check the effects of any colour change due to the presence of extractives. Data was analysed using the reflectance spectra (400-700nm) as well as the CIE-L*a*b* system and ΔE. The majority of colour changes were found to occur within the 1st 24 hours. This was unaffected by the removal of extractives from the wood and was independent of temperature. When compared to the other monitoring methods, colour monitoring has been shown to be the most sensitive method out of the methods compared for monitoring photodegradation in Scots pine.