The rate of redistribution and loss of leachable preservatives under service conditions
R J Orsler, G E Holland
This paper describes experiments carried out to determine patterns of preservative redistribution and any associated losses which occur when wood containing unfixed water-soluble wood preservatives is exposed to service conditions where leaching is possible. Scots pine sapwood treated with disodium octaborate was used as a model system. Results are recorded and discussed for trials representing painted joinery out of ground contact and unpainted stakes half buried in the ground. The results indicate that in the painted samples out of ground contact the water-soluble compound was redistributed longitudinally and away from the joint zone during the first months of exposure, although little redistribution occurred laterally. No difference in redistribution patterns could be associated with paint type. Ground contact stakes showed a loss in the water-soluble compound of about 40% in the first six months exposure. Most of this appeared to occur from the surface zones of the stake exposed to the weather, particularly from the extreme top. In addition, the compound appeared to migrate upwards from the below-ground portion of the stake to the above-ground portion. These results provide new information on the extent of movement of water-soluble preservatives in painted, jointed timber out of ground contact and in unpainted timber in ground contact. It is concluded that the long-term significance of the observed redistribution effects for painted joinery should be evaluated to confirm that there is no likelihood of shortcomings in performance in practice. For the ground contact situation, results confirm that rates of redistribution and loss are high enough to indicate inappropriateness of such materials for practical use without associated technologies to reduce mobilities.