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Steam/hold/APM boron treatment - Treatability trials with green gauged radiata pine
1987 - IRG/WP 3439
Freshly sawn 100 x 50 mm radiata pine was green gauged, steam conditioned and preservative treated with a mixture of borax and boric acid using a modified Alternating Pressure Method (APM) treatment schedule. A 12 hour holding period between steam conditioning and treatment resulted in the necessary moisture loss and moisture re-distribution to facilitate treatment to NZ Timber Preservation Authority preservative retention and distribution requirements.
P Vinden

The decay resistance of chemically modified aspen composites to the white rot fungus Coriolus versicolor (L.) Quelet
1998 - IRG/WP 98-40122
Chemical modification of Aspen wood (Populus tremula L.) in the form of solid wood, veneers and sawdust was undertaken by a two step procedure consisting of esterification with maleic anhydride (MA) and subsequent oligoesterification with MA and glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) or allyl glycidyl ether (AGE). Modified wood was thermoplastic and was thermally formed by hot-pressing to produce veneer or solid wood samples with smooth glossy surfaces, while plastic-like wafers were obtained by hotpressing modified sawdust. Chemical modification alone was shown to enhance the biological resistance of Aspen to decay by Coriolus versicolor. In addition, hot-pressing enhanced decay resistance of both unmodified wood and esterified wood veneer samples, although no improvement was found by hot pressing oligoesterified wood. The most effective treatment for the improvement of decay resistance was chemical modification of the sawdust in conjunction with hot-pressing. A microscopic examination of chemically modified and control samples following exposure to the fungus showed more extensive colonisation and decay in untreated, unpressed samples.
M C Timar, A J Pitman, M D Mihai

Natural durability transfer from sawmill residues of white cypress (Callitris glaucophylla). - Part 3: Full penetration of the refractory sapwood of white cypress
2000 - IRG/WP 00-40167
The heartwood of white cypress, Callitris glaucophylla, is renowned for its termite resistance and durability against decay. The sapwood, which can represent up to 30% of log volume, is non-durable and refractory to conventional preservative treatment. Previous work ascribes the lack of permeability to oily deposits within tracheids and ray cells. Environmental scanning electron microscopy was used to investigate ultrastructural aspects of sapwood permeability. Several pre-treatment processes to improve permeability were tested with limited success. Solvent drying allowed preservative penetration but damaged the structure of the timber. Neither, long term water soaking nor an oscillating pressure/vacuum cycle had any effect on porosity to water-borne treatments. Through extensive modifications to a standard VPI process we can now repeatedly achieve full penetration with organic solvent-based wood preservative solutions into white cypress sapwood. Effects of this process on the strength of the timber are being evaluated. Work is continuing as to the most effective and efficient treatment schedule and the latest results will be presented at IRG 31.
M J Kennedy, L M Stephens, M A Powell

The use of pressure cycling to improve heartwood penetration in Pinus radiata (D. Don)
1995 - IRG/WP 95-40050
This study investigates the effect of cycling pressure on the treatability of radiata pine heartwood. The results indicate that liquid penetration into the heartwood is affected by the preconditioning method used and pressure treatment time. There is no significant improvement in the penetration of Pinus radiata (D. Don) heartwood when a cycling or pulsation process is used.
P R S Cobham, P Vinden

Options for accelerated boron treatment: A practical review of alternatives
1985 - IRG/WP 3329
Boron wood preservatives are almost exclusively applied by momentary immersion and block diffusion storage. Alternative techniques are described which can be used to accelerate boron treatment. Diffusion coefficients have been derived to define the acceleration of diffusion with increasing temperature. Schedules are described for pressure impregnation of green timber, involving steam conditioning, evacuation and alternating pressure method treatment. Timber Preservation Authority penetration and retention requirements can be met in approximately 4-5 h. The optimum schedule, however, included a 12 hour holding period between steaming and preservative treatment. A method of applying boron preservatives as a vapour is described, Trimethyl borate vapour reacts with wood moisture to form boric acid. The kinetics of this reaction, however, are very fast. This limits treatment to timber dried to very low wood moisture contents.
P Vinden, T Fenton, K Nasheri

Preservative treatment of Pinus elliottii
1987 - IRG/WP 3435
The treatment of Pinus elliottii with copper-chrome-arsenic preservative by four alternative seasoning and treatment methods is investigated. Steam conditioning followed by either alternating pressure method (APM) or 'Q' treatment resulted in inadequate preservative penetration. Air drying or high temperature drying followed by the Bethell process resulted in a high standard of treatment.
P Vinden, L Carter

Efficacy of anhydrides as wood protection chemicals - II. Performance against soft rot fungi
1998 - IRG/WP 98-30174
Pine sapwood modified with various anhydrides and with butyl isocyanate was tested for its resistance to soft rot decay. Small stakes were exposed for 20 months in unsterile soil in a fungal cellar test. Wood modified with butyl isocyanate performed better than any of the anhydrides tested, with a threshold level of protection (less than 3% weight loss) at 12% weight percent gain (WPG). Stakes acetylated to 15% WPG did not give complete protection against soft rot. Stakes modified with alkenyl succinic anhydride showed increasing resistance to soft rot with WPG up to about 10% WPG, above which no further improvements were evident. Succinic anhydride and phthalic anhydride treated stakes showed little or no noticeable protection.
S C Forster, M D C Hale, G R Williams

Decay patterns observed in butylene oxide modified ponderosa pine attacked by Fomitopsis pinicola
1983 - IRG/WP 1183
Small blocks of ponderosa pine chemically modified by butylene oxide to three different weight percent gains (WPG) were decayed for 2 months with the brown rot fungus Fomitopsis pinicola. Wood substance loss and the type of decay pattern recognised were fairly similar both for control and blocks treated to 8 and 15 WPG. No difference in attack was observed between radial or tangential walls in latewood tracheids. Microscopical examination of undecayed wood blocks treated to 23.7 WPG revealed numerous cracks in both the middle lamella regions of radial walls and in cell corners of latewood tracheids. The fungus had gained entry to the cracks, possibly via bordered pits and rays. Attack started from the cracks and progressed along the middle lamella and towards the cell lumen.
T Nilsson, R M Rowell

Improved resistance of Scots pine and Spruce by application of an oil-heat treatment
2000 - IRG/WP 00-40162
Spruce (Picea abies L. Karst.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) were subject to a heat treatment which was carried out in an oil-bath. The aim was to improve the dimensional stability of the treated wood and its resistance against fungi. The bath of vegetable oil provides a uniform heat transfer at temperatures of 180°C, 200°C and 220°C and protects the submersed wood from oxygen. Heat treatment in air atmosphere was also carried out at the same temperatures for comparison. Wood treated in hot oil was more equal in its appearance than wood heated in hot air. The treatment of spruce and pine in the oil-bath resulted in a better resistance against Coniophora puteana in a lab test according to EN 113 compared to the treatment in air atmosphere. In order to achieve the wanted upgrading effect, certain changes of mechanical properties and colour must be accepted. However, the strength loss caused by the heat-treatment in oil was less severe than in air atmosphere. Since all materials and the energy used in the process originate from renewable resources, the oil-heat-treatment appears to be environmentally friendly. All in all, the heat treatment in oil might be a promising approach to upgrade wood for outdoor use.
M Sailer, A O Rapp, H Leithoff

About the water and biological resistance of some new chemically modified wood composites
1997 - IRG/WP 97-40077
As well known, wood represents a valuable natural composite material with a very large utilisation as solid wood or in wood based composite materials. Its qualities but also its defects as the dimensional instability, the susceptibility to biological attack, the anisotropy, are due to its complex structure. Research has demonstrated that the chemical modification of wood, meaning the involving of its main chemical components through their reactive alcoholic hydroxyl groups in chemical reactions with different chemical reagents, can be a new way to ameliorate the wood or wood composites but also to obtain new wood based materials. The chemical thermoplasticization of wood, studied theoretically and experimentally by the Japanese researchers as Matsuda, Mori, Morita, Nakano, Shiraishi, Ueda seems to be a very interesting possibility. The paper presents the results of our experiments concerning the chemical thermoplasticization of wood through oligoesterification and the obtaining and characterisation of some products based on this type of chemically modified wood. In fact the main goals of this stage of the researches were: - the obtaining and characterisation of the thermoplastic wood; - the study of the thermoformation possibilities for the thermally flowable material obtained as sawdust; - the evaluation of the possibilities to carry out this chemical modification process as a surface treatment for solid wood; - the evaluation of the water and biological resistance for the obtained products.
M C Timar, M D Mihai, G Baciu

Durability of different heat treated materials from industrial processes in ground contact
2005 - IRG/WP 05-40312
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.
C R Welzbacher, A O Rapp

Biological degradation resistance of pine wood treated with dimethylol compounds
1989 - IRG/WP 3528
The study reports the increase of dimensional stability and biological degradation resistance of pine wood (Pinus sylvestris L) after impregnation with dimethyloldibydroxyethyleneurea. Decay resistance was determined according to BS 838:961. Nearly complete protection against Coniophora puteana, (Schum.ex Fr. Karst) weight loss of 2-3% was shown when modification, expressed as weight gain, exceeded 15%. Resistance to biological attack of modified wood is speculated to be due to modification of the wood components and cross linking with dimethyloldihydroxyethyleneurea.
C L Videlov

Decay resistance of high performance biocomposites based on chemically modified fibres
1998 - IRG/WP 98-40120
Different partners within the framework of a European research project produced high performance biocomposites aiming at the utilisation of board materials as durable products both in dimensional and biological degrading circumstances. This paper summarises test data, which indicate the potential of board materials produced with modified fibre material. The chemical modifications applied cover a range of technologies, which were selected for scaling up experiments. Acetylation, as well as alternative methods like maleiation, phthalylation, succinylation, oxidation and silylation were investigated. Fibre source, density variation and the use of several types of glues were parameters of the total set-up. Basidiomycete testing was carried out using specific methodology for board materials elaborated in CEN standardisation committees.
V Rijckaert, J Van Acker, M Stevens

Decay patterns observed in butylene oxide modified ponderosa pine after exposure in unsterile soil
1982 - IRG/WP 3211
Small blocks of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Laws) chemically modified with butylene oxide to three different weight gains were exposed for 6 weeks in unsterile soil. Severe surface decay caused by soft rot fungi and tunnelling bacteria was observed in blocks with 8 weight percent gain. The soft rot attack was restricted to the outer parts of the radial walls in the latewood tracheids. Bacterial attack occurred both in the radial and tangential walls. Very few soft rot cavities were found in blocks with 15 weight percent gain. Some attack by tunnelling bacteria was observed in the outermost parts of the radial walls in the latewood tracheids. Wood blocks with 23.7 weight percent gain showed no signs of attack. A solution of crystal violet was used for examining pathways in ponderosa pine wood. The results indicate that the uneven distribution of cavities is due to improper penetration of the modifying agents into the outer parts of the radial walls in the latewood tracheids.
T Nilsson, R M Rowell

Sustainability Through New Technologies for Enhanced Wood Durability. COST Action E37 – A New Action in the Forestry Domain
2004 - IRG/WP 04-40293
The main overall objective of the action is to concentrate on the contribution of wood durability on the sustainability through the development of systems for quality assurance and perfoamance of modified wood and wood products as alternatives to wood treated with traditional preservatives. By this means it seeks to improve and consequently increase the cost-effective use of sustainably produced European timber, wood-based fibre, and recycled raw materials. The action will seek to optimize methods for testing and characterizing durability performance against physical as well as biological factors. This will exploit relevant selected results from specific aspects of the preceding COST Action E22 on “Environmental optimization of wood protection” and in the EU thematic network for wood modification. It will also exploit specific achievements from COST Action E18 “High performance in wood coating”.
R-D Peek

Novel wood modification processes for window and cladding products
2004 - IRG/WP 04-40285
Because of the low natural durability and low dimensional stability of European wood species, the usage of wood for window frames has decreased dramatically during the last decade. In a joint project of several German research institutes and the window industry, following wood modification systems were compared. heat treatment (3 different materials from 2 companies) acetylation (pine sapwood and beech wood acetylated with acetic anhydride) polymerisation (melamine resin treated pine sapwood, Interlace treatment, furfurylation) wax treatment (pine sapwood, which was impregnated with natural resin and waxes) Investigated was the moisture content, dimensional stability, capillary water uptake and the durability. The dimensional stability show a high increase for following materials: heat treated wood, acetylated pine, interlace treated wood and furfurylated wood. The melamine resin treated wood and the wax treated wood show no significant increase in the dimensional stability. The biological durability against different basidiomycetes was tested according to the EN 113. As test fungi, Coniophora puteana, Poria placenta and Coriolus versicolor were used. The results show a very high increase in the durability for most of the treated wood. The wax treated wood shows no significant increase in durability. A novel window frame consists of several functional layers. Different wood properties are demanded for the single layers to achieve optimal window properties. Every modified wood shows a special potential for the use in a functional layer.
A Krause, C Hof, H Militz

The distribution of introduced acetyl groups and a linseed oil model substance in wood examined by microautoradiography and ESEM
2000 - IRG/WP 00-40169
Microautoradiography, a photographic method that shows the localization of substances labelled with radioactive isotope, and Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM) were combined to enhance sensitivity, resolution and reliability for examination of the distribution of introduced substances in wood. The preparation of microautoradiographs is less complicated when investigated with ESEM and the preparation of ESEM-samples is quick and easy compared to a conventional SEM. When investigating microautoradiographs with ESEM, the wood structure is observed underneath the almost transparent photographic film. Silver grains, indicating the location of studied substances, are clearly distinguish from the wood material. The technique was used in two case studies for examination of cell wall penetration and distribution in pine sapwood. The distribution of acetyl groups, introduced by acetylation with acetic anhydride, and the distribution of a linseed oil model substance, triglycerol trioleate, were examined. Examinations of introduced acetyl groups showed an even distribution of acetyl groups in the wood cell wall at acetylation level of about 5, 15 and 20% (weight gain). Examination of the linseed oil model substance, glycerol trioleate, showed the presence of the model substance on applied surfaces, in rays and in lumen of some latewood cells. No cell wall penetration was observed.
M Rosenqvist

Effects of a formaldehyde and sulphur dioxide treatment on decay and mechanical properties of aspen waferboard
1983 - IRG/WP 3242
Aspen wafers were sequentially treated under vacuum with formaldehyde and sulfur dioxide gas and pressed into waferboard bonded with powdered phenol formaldehyde resin. Decay resistance and strength properties were determined before and after simulated weathering. The water resistance of the phenol bonding system was lost in board made from the gas-treated wafers. This white rot fungus Coriolus versicolor was unable to decay treated waferboard in a soil block test, but the brown rot fungi Gloeophyllum trabeum and Poria placenta decayed the samples as severely as untreated controls.
E L Schmidt

Photo-discoloration and Degradation of Wood and its Stabilisation by Modification with Benzoyl Chloride
2004 - IRG/WP 04-40274
Photo degradation of Pinus roxburghii (chir pine) and Hevea brasiliensis (rubber wood) was studied under artificial accelerated weathering conditions in a Xenon test chamber. The irradiated samples were analyzed for color changes and chemical changes. Analysis of colour changes in wood surfaces by UV-Vis. irradiation was carried out using a colour measuring (CIELAB) system and chemical changes were monitored using FTIR and fluorescence spectroscopy. Irradiation modified physical and chemical characteristics of wood surfaces and resulted in rapid colour changes, reduction in lignin content and increased concentration of chromophoric groups on the wood surfaces. Colour changes were correlated with formation of carbonyl groups and lignin decay rate determined by FTIR measurements. Fluorescence emission spectra measured from un-weathered wood shows excitation wavelength dependence. Photo irradiation leads to a rapid reduction in the emission intensity, broadening of spectra and a significant red shift in the emission maximum. Photo stability of wood surfaces esterified with benzoyl chloride was also assessed. The modification was characterized and analyzed by fluorescence and FTIR spectroscopy and photo-stability of modified wood was assessed. Esterification of wood by benzoyl chloride suppressed the colour changes (photo-discoloration) and also reduced the lignin degradation and generation of carbonyl groups on irradiated wood surfaces. Results show esterification of wood with benzoyl chloride was effective at inhibiting photo-degradation of wood polymers.
K K Pandey

Microwave conditioning of Pinus radiata D. Don for preservative treatment
2000 - IRG/WP 00-40182
This paper reviews the effect of pressure steam conditioning on the permeability and treatability of green radiata pine heartwood and the potential for substituting microwave conditioning for steaming. The penetration of liquids into radiata pine occurs mainly in the radial tissue. The permeability of green radiata pine improves following steam conditioning by blowing out the soft radial tissue. The moisture content of the wood is also reduced following steam conditioning thus increasing the air void volume available for liquid penetration. Intensive microwave irradiation is found to improve the permeability of radiata pine and reduce wood moisture content concurrently thus facilitating immediate impregnation with wood preservatives.
P Vinden, G Torgovnikov, J Romero

Microscopical analysis of formaldehyde-acid modified wood
1981 - IRG/WP 3182
Cross-linking of wood with gaseous formaldehyde improves its hygroscopic and dimensional behaviour, and its resistance against micro-organisms. However, formaldehyde cross-linking reactions take place only in the presence of an acid catalyst, which results in losses in mechanical By optimization of a formaldehyde-sulfur dioxide vapour phase process the reaction conditions were established to limit losses in modulus of elasticity and bending strength to a few percent. Under these circumstances, impact strength losses of about 50 to 75% were still noted. The reaction of formaldehyde with cellulose has been studied intensively in textile research. However little is known on the fundamental aspects of the interaction of formaldehyde with lignin and wood. In order to get further insight into the effects of a formaldehyde-acid catalyzed reaction on the technological properties of wood a fundamental analysis of the interactions of both compounds with wood has been carried out.
M Stevens, N Parameswaran

Improving the weather resistance of glue-laminated jarrah and karri
1994 - IRG/WP 94-40017
Surface modification and dimensional stabilisation significantly increased the dry and wet shear strength of karri and jarrah lap-shear specimens (laminates) bonded with resorcinol formaldehyde. The combination of surface modification (sanding/sodium hydroxide treatment), and furfurylation produced the highest dry and wet shear strengths. Acetylated laminates had the lowest dry bond strength, but the lowest loss of strength on wetting. In most cases karri laminates showed higher dry, but lower wet shear strength than jarrah. Untreated laminates rapidly delaminated during artificial accelerated weathering, but surface modification and dimensional stabilisation significantly increased the resistance of specimens to delamination. Only a small proportion (5-10%) of acetylated specimens delaminated during accelerated weathering and surface modified acetylated laminates showed no delamination during the weathering test. Laminates treated with a combination of surface modification and furfurylation showed less delamination than specimens treated by surface modification alone. Treatments that increase both glue bond strength and dimensional stability appear to offer an effective means of improving the weathering resistance of glue-laminated karri and jarrah.
J Balfas, P D Evans

Thermal modification of non-durable wood species 1. The PLATO technology: thermal modification of wood
1998 - IRG/WP 98-40123
The PLATO technology is an innovative upgrading technology with low environmental impact, which can be applied to fast grown and non-durable wood species. This technology is based on a thermal modification of solid wood without the addition of chemicals (e.g. preservatives), consisting of a hydrothermal treatment, followed by drying and curing. The PLATO technology results in a substantial improvement of the natural durability and dimensional stability of wood with only a slight reduction in mechanical properties. Applications of thermally modified wood will include areas where a good durability and/or dimensional stability is required, e.g. garden wood and furniture, wooden sheds, canal lining, joinery, window frames, doors, claddings. In 1998/99 the PLATO technology will be commercialised in the Netherlands. In this paper features of the PLATO technology will be discussed, including selection of wood species, the PLATO process and product development, product properties and applications.
M J Boonstra, B F Tjeerdsma, H A C Groeneveld

Improvements of stability and durability of beechwood (Fagus sylvatica) by means of treatment with acetic anhydride
1991 - IRG/WP 3645
In the present investigations, beechwood (Fagus sylvatica) was treated with non-catalysed acetic anhydrid at 120°C and some physical- and biological parameters of the treated wood were compared with those of non-treated wood. The radial and tangential shrinkage and swelling, respectively, and the absorption capacity of the acetylated wood against moisture is considerably lower. The durability against fungi improves. The results are discussed.
H Militz

Preliminary results of the treatment of wood with chlorosilanes
1981 - IRG/WP 3172
It is clear from the initial data reported here that the treatment of pine sapwood with chlorosilanes under the reaction conditions employed did not significantly reduce the decay by both white rot and brown rot fungi. Only the dichlorosilane compounds showed to possess some protective action against fungal attack. Before drawing conclusions on the application of organosilicon compounds as potentially alternative wood preservatives much more work is needed. At present the anti-blue stain activity of the different types of chlorosilanes is being tested. Further investigation on the treatment is also required with respect to the effect of wood moisture content and the use of other types of acid acceptor on the silylation reaction. Current studies also deal with the effect of the treatment on physical and mechanical properties of wood. The initial physical tests on the sorptive and dimensional behaviour of treated wood revealed that the dichlorosilanes might give better results again.
M Stevens

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