Durability of different heat treated materials from industrial processes in ground contact
C R Welzbacher, A O Rapp
In this study the durability of heat treated wood originating from four different European industrial heat treatment processes in ground contact was examined. The manufacturers of heat treated material were: PLATO Hout B.V./Netherlands, Thermo Wood/Finland, New Option Wood/France and Menz Holz/Germany where Oil-Heat treated Wood (OHT) is produced.
All heat treated materials showed significantly increased durability against decay in ground contact compared to untreated Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), independent from the different heat treatment processes. After four years of field testing, heat treated material appears to be not suitable for in ground contact application, since long service life is required. In analogy to the classification of natural durability (EN 350-1, 1994), durability classes in the range from 2 (durable) to 4 (slightly durable) were achieved by the different heat treated materials. This stands in contrast to statements of suppliers, who promote their material as suitable for in ground applications.