The effect of gamma radiation on selected wood properties

IRG/WP 08-40394

R Despot, M Hasan, A O Rapp, C Brischke, C R Welzbacher

As an easy, fast, and effective sterilisation method, gamma irradiation changes molecular structures not only in pest’s living cells, but also in wooden cell walls. Radiation-induced depolymerisation causes significant changes in some properties of wood crucial for restoration and for laboratory testing of wood-preservative effectiveness. The influence of gamma radiation concerning total amount of water-soluble carbohydrates (TSC), maximum swelling (aMAX) and resistance to impact milling (RIM) were investigated. Cobalt (60Co) was used as gamma source and Scots pine sapwood (Pinus sylvestris L.) was irradiated with dosages of 30, 90 and 150 kGy. A strong linear correlation between TSC and the radiation dosage was found. Leached irradiated specimens had significantly greater TSC than non-irradiated controls. RIM decreased significantly and linearly with increasing radiation dosage. After leaching, the linearity between these parameters was improved. Gamma radiation had no significant effect on aMAX and the elapsed time after irradiation did not influence aMAX, RIM, and TSC.

Keywords: high-energy multiple impact test, HEMI, maximum swelling, resistance to impact milling, RIM, total amount of water-soluble carbohydrates, TSC, biological durability, Schizophyllum commune, Trametes versicolor; wood sterilisation

Conference: 08-05-25/29, Istanbul, Turkey

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