Methodology challenges in developing a transfer of natural durability from sawmill residues, illustrated by experiences with white cypress (Callitris glaucophylla)
M J Kennedy, M A Powell
The transfer of durability-conferring extractives from durable to non-durable wood has been accomplished often, but usually as an educational exercise rather than as a commercially oriented process. In the latter environment, many factors previously overlooked become vitally important. How to study them, in the absence of well-developed methodology and given the shorter timeframes being demanded by industry research funding organisations, presents real challenges. These challenges will be illustrated by experiences with the development of such a process for the 'waste' durability components of white cypress. Factors to be considered include: identification of active components; quantification of their individual and collective activities against target organisms; optimisation of source material handling, storage and extraction techniques; extract standardisation and batch-to-batch reproducibility; compatible yet cost-effective carriers for the actives into treated wood; effects on durability and other wood properties such as strength and handling safety; regulatory obstacles including acceptance into wood preservation standards; and quality control methods for penetration and retention of the treated product.