Factors affecting leaching of preservatives in practice
R Cockcroft, R A Laidlaw
At the 7th Meeting of the IRG in Poland in May 1975, the findings of collaborative laboratory leaching techniques were discussed, and the dangers inherent in using such results to predict the behaviour of preservative-treated components in service were emphasised. In order to improve our understanding of the factors governing leaching of preservatives in practice, and to identify areas where further research is required, it was agreed that a literature review should be prepared. This is presented below. Some points may be made regarding its format and content. First, the review shows that a large number of factors are of importance, including the properties of the wood, the leach water, the preservative and method of application and the nature of the environment to which the product is exposed. In many situations these factors interact and it is clearly impossible within the scope of this short paper to discuss all aspects of the problem in detail. However, the compilation of references will give ready access to the literature on particular topics. For ease of collation, the findings are discussed under a number of different headings. Secondly, less than one-third of the references cited deal with the results of service or field trials, while the others describe laboratory experiments designed to provide comparative data. The reservations expressed above concerning such small-scale experiments must be borne in mind when considering the validity of these findings. The information available on this topic up till 1964 was comprehensively reviewed by Wallace who identified and commented upon many of the factors discussed below. Her paper contained discussion on the performance of individual preservatives and on the mechanism of their fixation within the wood. These topics will not be considered here in any detail except insofar as they reflect general trends.