System treatments of Pinus sylvestris - influence on moisture, decay and discoloration

IRG/WP 13-30612

A Schabacker, G Alfredsen, L Ross Gobakken, H Militz, P O Flæte

Biological activity can cause challenges for the use of wood in outdoor exposure. Decay and discolouring fungi influence the service life of wooden constructions, and the moisture content of the wood is often an important factor. The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of different combinations of preservative/modified wood protection treatments and surface treatments for wooden decks in different exposure situations after ten years of field testing. Fourteen different wood protection treatments were tested, in addition to Scots pine sapwood, Scots pine heartwood and European larch heartwood. Furthermore two different surface treatments were included (alkyd oil with iron oxide pigments (AO) and alkyd emulsion without pigments (AE)) in addition to no surface treatment. The test setup used was the “Stapelbädds metoden”. The bottom layer is in soil contact and this stack method provides a moisture gradient within the five layers included. As expected a gradient of increasing wood moisture content and fungal decay rating was found from the top layer to the bottom layer of the stack. For samples with no surface treatment the treatments with lowest wood moisture content was Styren, Tanalith E7, Royal with pigment, European larch heartwood and thermal modification. In the stacks without surface treatment Royal with pigment and Gori SC 100 were the only treatments with decay rating ≤ 1 in all layers, while Scots pine sapwood, Scots pine heartwood and UltraWood all had decay ratings > 2 in all layers. AE surface treatment decreased fungal decay in all layers for furfurylation, Scots pine heartwood and Tanalith M. A similar trend including all layers was not found for AO. All treatments were totally covered by discolouring fungi with the exceptions of ACQ 1900 and Scanimp. Among the untreated samples European larch heartwood generally gave the best performance. The results show that moisture content and fungal decay rate can be reduced with the support of a surface treatment, but they also showed that the opposite can also be the case after ten years of field exposure.

Keywords: decay fungi, decks, discolouring fungi, hazard class 3

Conference: 13-06-16/20 Stockholm, Sweden

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