IRG Documents Database and Compendium

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Investigation of microwave as a means of eradicating dry rot attack in buildings
1992 - IRG/WP 92-1545
A microwave-apparatus developed for treatment of building-structures infested by dry rot was tested in the laboratory. The test-conditions simulated treatment of either infested timber or infested brickwork. Sawdust samples, both wet and dry, infested by viable mycelium of Serpula lacrymans were packed in glass-tubes. The tubes were then placed in the middle of either 20 cm thick wooden beams or 35 cm brickwork. The temperature during microwave-treatment was measured both in the tubes using toluene thermometers and in the "construction" using thermo-couples of the copper-constantine-type. The viability after treatment was tested by growth-ability on malt-agar, by ATP-content and by nucleus-staining. The lethal temperature with this specific apparatus was 37-39°C in brickwork and 40-50°C in wood. In comparison with more conventional methods of heat transfer microwaves seem to be more efficient. The variation in temperature within the treated area was undesirably high and in situ treatment above lethal temperature with this specific apparatus would lead to an unacceptably high risk of damage.
C Kjerulf-Jensen, A P Koch

Moisture content levels and decay of hemlock
1986 - IRG/WP 1287
As a model of decay conditions of wooden members in wooden houses, a decay test was set up in which samples of western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) under 4 moisture levels were examined. Each week the samples were weighed and if the weights indicated that their moisture contents were lower than the expected levels, distilled water was added. Every 8 weeks 3 samples from each condition were oven dried at 60°C for 48 hours, up to 48 weeks. After 48 weeks, 3 samples from each condition were oven dried every 16 weeks. The results obtained were as follows: After examining the samples for 96 weeks at 27°C, the mean weight loss of the hemlock samples kept at about 50-100% moisture content level was larger than those of the other levels. If the samples were dried every 8 weeks, the amount of decay in them was not significant. Decay was also not significant in the samples kept at approximately 20-30% moisture content level.
K Suzuki

New technique to analyze impregnation processes
1988 - IRG/WP 2304
Equipment has been developed to measure liquid flow in wood during impregnation processes. Basic principles of flow measurements using directly heated negative temperature coefficient thermistors, and some characteristics of the hardware developed are presented in this paper.
J P Hösli

A medium for mass culturing of a bamboo boring beetle Dinoderus minutus Fabricius
1983 - IRG/WP 1182
The bamboo is a traditional product of Japan. But its susceptibility to insects is one of the most important problems. The author has found that for the determination of the effectiveness of insecticides it is very easy to obtain sufficiently numerous adults of Dinoderus minutus by using Buckwheat Cake. The Buckwheat Cake is prepared with buckwheat flour and thin paper. The author has previously found that Buckwheat Cake is suitable for the culturing of Lyctus brunneus and these results were presented in 1981. In culturing Dinoderus minutus, Buckwheat Cake has been found to be also easier and fasting in bringing forth the adults than natural bamboo.
K Suzuki

Influence of moisture content of rubber wood on the growth of Botryodiplodia theobromae
1993 - IRG/WP 93-10029
Botryodiplodia theobromae is the main fungus causing sapstain on rubber wood (Hevea brasiliensis). The entry and establishment of the stain fungus is nighly influenced by the moisture content of the wood. To determine the optimum moisture content of wood required for maximum growth of Botryodiplodia theobromae wood blocks at different moisture contents were inoculated with the test fungus and incubated for a period of two weeks. The study showed if the moisture content of the wood was reduced to less than 24%, the wood can be protected from fungal sapstain.
E J M Florence, R Gnanaharan, J K Sharma

Soil virulence tests using Scots pine sapwood
1973 - IRG/WP 222
Following the tests reported in Document No: IRG/WP/210, in which soils from different laboratories were investigated for virulence, supplementary tests have been carried out using Scots pine sapwood and an extended incubation period.
J K Carey, J G Savory

Co-operative research project on L-joint testing. Sampling after 8 months exposure
1983 - IRG/WP 2208
It was anticipated in Document No IRG/WP/2192 that exposure of L-joints by the European co-operators would take place on 1 April 1983. Where L-joints were exposed at this time, sampling after 8 months exposure is due on 1 December 1983. The present document draws attention to relevant previous documents which describe the sampling methods to be adopted. It also provides Tables for recording the results.
J K Carey, A F Bravery

Comparison of the agar-block and soil-block methods used for evaluation of fungitoxic value of QAC and CCA wood preservatives
1994 - IRG/WP 94-20039
The modyfied agar-block and soil-block methods were used for comparing the fungitoxic value of QAC and CCA type preservatives against Coniophora puteana and Coniophora olivacea The mass loss and moisture contents of wood were analysed.
J Wazny, L J Cookson

Collaborative soft rot tests: Programme and test method
1973 - IRG/WP 229
J G Savory, J K Carey

Collaborative soft rot tests: Interim report on PRL tests of Cu/Cr/As preservative using method of Document No: IRG/WP/208
1972 - IRG/WP 211
Preservative: Tanalith CT.106 - Results obtained with beech are given in the table and indicate a toxic limit of 16.7-19.2 kg/m³ - The initial soil moisture content was adjusted to 27.8% (the water holding capacity). Noticeable drying out has occurred in some of the test bottles.
J G Savory

Soft rot and bacterial decay in preservative treated eucalypt power transmission poles
1982 - IRG/WP 1155
Bacterial type decay was observed in CCA and PCP treated eucalypt power transmission poles. Detailed observations made with the SEM revealed bacterial colonisation and decay, especially in fibres. Plug samples taken from poles throughout Queensland were examined for preservative retention and presence of soft-rot decay. The severity of decay was different according to location, retention and species.
L E Leightley

Rates of emission from CCA-treated wood in the marine environment: measurement, modelling and requirements for further research
2001 - IRG/WP 01-50166-12
Accurate estimates of rates of emission of leachate from preservative treated wood are crucial for realistic predictions of the environmental impact of its use in maritime construction. Estimates are available for some commonly used preservatives, but these vary widely. Though variable, these measurements suggest that emission generally decreases exponentially with time. Part of the variation is due to differences in methodology employed. Physical and chemical characteristics of the seawater used (e.g. temperature, salinity, pH and oxygen content) affect emission rate. So too do the specifics of the treatment process especially the preservative formulation used, and pre- and post-treatment handling of the wood. The nature of the treated wood samples is also important, with misleadingly high estimates being obtained from samples with unrepresentatively high proportions of cross-cut surfaces. A suggested strategy for developing an informative and standardised methodology is discussed. To form useful models of impacts of leaching, emission rates need to be considered in conjunction with site-specific information regarding a) water exchange rates between the area where leaching occurs and the sea, and b) the extent of partitioning of leachate between the water column, biota and sediment. The risk of environmental impact may be reduced by modification to treatment procedures and by careful planning of installation.
S M Cragg, C J Brown, R A Albuquerque, R A Eaton

Observations on the failure of anti-sapstain treated timber under non-drying conditions
1990 - IRG/WP 1437
A range of bacteria and yeasts were isolated from antisapstain treated timber and fresh sawdust. Solution samples containing 100 ppm of TCMTB in a nutrient medium were inoculated with these organisms and incubated at 25°C for 5 days. The levels of TCMTB remaining in solution were determined by HPLC analysis after this time. Results indicated high losses of active ingredient for a range of organisms. These results suggest that active biodetoxification of organic biocides could occur in a short period of time during storage of antisapstain treated timber under favourable conditions. The implications of these results are discussed.
G R Williams

Nitrogen content of soils at field sites
1981 - IRG/WP 1133
Nine participants in the Collaborative Field Experiment submitted samples for nitrogen analysis to this laboratory as requested by Leightley (IRG/WP/3162). These arrived in a variety of conditions e.g. wet, dried, sterilised and unsterilised and sometimes spent a considerable time in transit. Soils varied in cellular fraction organic matter content, some were obviously sieved prior to postage while others contained significant quantities of large vegetative detritus. Samples were also taken at different times of the year and seasonal and climatic factors may have influenced the values subsequently obtained by analysis.
B King, G Mowe

Co-operative research project on L-joint testing. Progress report to March 1988
1988 - IRG/WP 2315
Further sets of data received from CTFT (France), BAM (Germany) and PRL (UK) after 46-48 months exposure and STU (Sweden) after 22 months exposure are presented and discussed in conjunction with data reported previously. Colonisation and attack of the L-joints has progressed with increasing exposure period. The new data are generally in agreement with those presented previously and the major difference between Institutes continues to be one of rate of colonisation rather than any relative difference in performance of the treatments. Overall 0.5% TnBTO 1 min dip treatment is providing least protection followed by 1.0% TnBTO 1 min dip treatment. The double vacuum treatments continue to provide better protection than the dip treatments; there are now indications that 0.5% TnBTO double vacuum treatment is less effective than 1.0% TnBTO.
J K Carey, A F Bravery

Microbial biofouling of 10-40% naphthalene in creosote treated and untreated wooden pilings in the marine environment
1978 - IRG/WP 442
R R Colwell, P L Fish, D A Webb, A J Emery

A standardised procedure for the treatment of timber with test chemicals
1986 - IRG/WP 2257
A procedure is described which allows the standardisation of sample handling and data manipulation during trials invastigating the treatability of timber with test chemicals. The use of computer software allows the data to be handled efficiently.
J Norton, A Zosars, L E Leightley

Addendum to Document No: IRG/WP/428
1977 - IRG/WP 437
A J Emery

Natural resistance of twenty-six Guianese wood species against marine borers
1988 - IRG/WP 4144
This note is a contribution on the study of the natural resistance of some wood species from French Guiana, some of which could be found too in the neighbourhood. Here are presented the results after one year exposure in the marine environment.
L N Trong

A new approach to the maintenance of wooden railway sleepers. (Second report)
1988 - IRG/WP 3492
The microenvironment and micro-ecology of wooden railway sleepers was investigated to assess their condition to determine the necessary treatment, repair and replacement criteria. In this report the efficacy of the secondary preservative treatment with solid boron rods is discussed and the development of an in-situ, nondestructive test method based on the creation and assessment of structural dynamic vibrations is described.
W Beauford, P I Morris, A M Brown, D J Dickinson

Moulds and indoor climate in Denmark
2003 - IRG/WP 03-10488
Just like in many other countries after the oil crisis in 1972 Danish houses were tightened with the result that the relative air humidity rose considerably. The Ministry of Energy also demanded a lowering of the indoor temperature from 25°C to 20°C with the result that the relative air humidity rose even more. According to the latest survey 10% of Danish buildings are infected with moulds. Moulds occur in the indoor environment e.g. when humid air condensates on cold outer walls or in connection with water damage which is insufficiently dried out. In our analyses we always try to determine moulds both to genus and species. During our surveys in August 2001 and February 2002 we found 50 different species of moulds in Danish houses. The species Penicillium chrysogenum was dominating in both spring and autumn. Aspergillus versicolor was also present in spring and autumn but in smaller numbers. Cladosporium herbarum was most common during autumn. Stachybotrys chartarum was rather rare, maybe because it is closely connected to gypsum boards. It is very important to identify the moulds to species which is shown by the following case study. In a house where the sewer had been punctured in connection with establishment of district heating, 150 cubic metres of water had poured into the crawl space. We were called in by the occupant because she felt ill and there was a strong mouldy smell. We immediately asked her to move, with the result that her health improved almost instantly. She was so sensible that even the delivery of mail in her mailbox made her ill. A blood-test showed that she was sensitised to Trichoderma viride and Penicillium chrysogenum. The latter was found in large amounts in her house. We know that it is now possible to repair the house so that non-sensitised persons will be able to live there, but not the former occupant who will react to even small traces of allergen which are still there. After the repair we have different methods of quality control. It is now evident that some remedies and methods will kill the spores others the mycelium and yet others both. Some methods have a lasting effect, others do not. Our methods of quality control are either contact-samples with Petri dishes where mould colonies are counted and identified to species or a test for ATP or the Mycometer-test where the enzyme β-N-acetylhexosaminidase specific to fungi is measured. The Petri dish method measures the number of living spores, while the two other methods measure the amount of mycelium. However it seems that ATP in the mycelium is broken down faster than the enzyme measured by the Mycometer-test. Therefore it becomes difficult to decide whether the mycelium is living, partly dead or completely dead, when the repair work is going to be approved.
J Bech-Andersen, S A Elborne

The resistance of fifteen Indonesian tropical wood species to the powder post beetle Heterobostrychus aequalis
1990 - IRG/WP 1429
A preliminary laboratory test on the resistance of 15 tropical wood species to Heterobostrychus aequalis has been carried out using small samples of 7.5 x 5 x 1.5 cm³. The results reveal that Pinus merkusii and Agathis borneensis are very susceptible to Heterobostrychus aequalis. Other 13 species vary between susceptible to resistance There is no signifisant relation between starch content and the infestation of Heterobostrychus aequalis in the fifteen wood species.
Jasni, Nana Supriana

Time dependent over-uptake of etherificated melamine resins
1998 - IRG/WP 98-40109
Waterbased methanol-etherificated melamine-formaldehyde resins can increase the fungal resistance of the treated wood though they are known to be non-toxic. Therefore melamine-resins are at the present an object of research activities of European projects and of some companies. The paper highlights the importance of quoting the duration of the diffusion when immersed in the treating solution, as major differences in the effectiveness against fungal attack can be obtained by extending the diffusion period. This paper also critically reviews the practice of referring the concentration of the solutions used for impregnation to a fixed solids content of this type of resins.
D Lukowsky, R-D Peek

Collaborative soft rot test: Amended test method
1972 - IRG/WP 208
The initial draft of a standard test method (Document IRG/WP/201) was discussed at the meeting in Brussels in 1971. It was agreed that a revised draft should be prepared and that the Princes Risborough Laboratory (formerly FPRL) should conduct a trial test using the method as a preliminary to the main collaborative test.
J G Savory

A summary of tests and practical experiences with the Pilodyn wood testing instrument
1980 - IRG/WP 282
This paper presents a summary of the reports, tests and practical experiences with the Pilodyn wood tester not only, however, concerning poles but also in other fields such as standing trees, sawn timber etc. The principle of the Pilodyn is a spring-loaded pin which is fired into the object and the depth to which the pin penetrates is correlated to physical and mechanical properties of the object.
H Friis-Hansen

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