Influence of a pulsed electric field on the growth of surface fungi

IRG/WP 13-10795

M Starck, A Treu

The colonization of mold and staining fungi are not only an aesthetical problem. Blue stain fungi are able to penetrate paint films. Maintenance of coatings on wood are time consuming and costly. A new approach uses a pulsed electric field (PLEOT) in order to protect wood against surface fungi. This technology is evaluated in non-sterile laboratory conditions on different coated and uncoated Scots pine sapwood and spruce wood samples exposed to a fungi mix for 12 weeks and in sterile test conditions on wood samples exposed to Aureobasidium pullulans and Ulocladium atrum for 8 weeks. The installation of PLEOT could reduce the growth of surface fungi. The addition of graphite to the coating led to significantly reduced growth of fungi on the front side of the samples using a fungi mix. The addition of graphite did not influence the growth of surface fungi. Growth of A. pullulans on the front side of wood samples in a sterile test showed to be slightly influenced by PLEOT, while growth inhibition of U. atrum was more pronounced on the back side of the wood samples.

Keywords: blue stain fungi, pulsed electric field, growth inhibition

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

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