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Utilization of coconut timber from north Sulawesi, Indonesia. Part 1: Durability
1994 - IRG/WP 94-30044
Coconut timber from non-productive plantations is a byproduct of an agricultural crop and, by the same token, constitutes a renewable resource which may serve as a complement to or, at least in part, as a substitute for traditional timbers in local markets. Its more extensive utilization is expected to contribute to the conservation of tropical rain forests. Export of coconut timber and/or wood products can open up new possibilities for exporting countries to acquire additional supplies of foreign exchange. Earlier attempts of export to industrialized countries were little successful for a number of reasons, primarily inadequate grading and drying before transport, or the lack of experience in processing and chemically treating this very particular raw material. Comprehensive knowledge about technological (physical, mechanical) properties, the durability as well as a reliable preservative treatment are indispensable in order to process and market coconut wood and wood products economically. The objective of this paper is to contribute to the durability of coconut timber.
R-D Peek

Utilization of coconut timber from north Sulawesi, Indonesia. Part 2: Treatability
1994 - IRG/WP 94-40025
Under tropical conditions coconut wood is quickly degraded by mold and blue stain fungi. Low density wood in ground contact is commonly decomposed by wood destroying fungi within a period of only a few months, higher density wood from the outer stem regions within 24 to 30 months (MOSTEIRO, CASIN, SERIBAN 1976; McQUIRE 1975). Moreover, according to McQUIRE (1975) green wood of lower density is highly susceptible to ambrosia beetles (Ambrosia sp.). For these reasons freshly sawn wood must be treated immediately, preferably by pressure treatment. Impregnation by a vacuum-pressure process of dry coconut wood with water-soluble CCA preservative had been carried out repeatedly and results published by PALOMAR (1979), JENSEN (1979), and SULC (1976). If, however, green coconut wood could be successfully pressure-treated immediately after sawing the time-consuming and costly intermediate dip treatment would become obsolete. Yet, previous trials by PALOMAR (1979) with traditional vacuum-pressure techniques were little successful as preservative retention, decreasing disproportionately with moisture content, proved ineffective at high moisture levels. On the other hand, an oscillating pressure process for impregnating green softwood has also proven effective with impregnating tropical hardwoods such as Rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis). There are as yet no reports in literature about the application to coconut wood of this treating process. Equally, little research has been dedicated so far to distribution and mode of fixation of chromium-based preservatives in monocots (WILLEITNER, CHEN 1985; WILLEITNER, BRANDT 1985; PEEK, WILLEITNER, BRANDT 1987). Hence, testing of the oscillating vacuum/pressure treatment with coconut wood was the objective of an investigations carried out partly at FRIM, Malaysia, and partly at the Federal Research Centre for Forestry and Forest Products (BFH), Hamburg, FRG.
R-D Peek

Fixation of CCA preservatives in cocos-, oil- and rattan-palm
1986 - IRG/WP 3371
In previous tests with jubaea-palm almost no fixation of a CCA-preservative Type B could be achieved, consequently, further leaching tests were carried out with samples of 1 cocos-, 1 oil- and 2 rattan-palms from Malaysia. A good fixation of chromium and copper took place in cocos-palm after 4 weeks storage at 28°C. Nevertheless the fixation was slower than in pine-wood and demanded an elevated temperature, as is present in the tropics. In oil-palm the fixation was poor with an average leaching rate of 12% for chromium and 14-26% for copper. In the rattan-palm, however, the fixation of chromium and copper was identical to pine-wood. The fixation of arsenic was markedly lower than chromium and copper.
H Willeitner, K Brandt

The potential use of impregnated coconut wood for power line poles in rural areas of Java
1980 - IRG/WP 3130
Electrification of rural areas in Java needs thousands of power line poles which are relatively cheap in price, but have adequate strength and are fairly durable. A choice of wood species is available in the country. One alternative is coconut wood found in abundance in the villages. This may give a solution to Java's needs since supplies are readily available almost everywhere. Based on tests made in the laboratories of the Faculties of Engineering and Forestry, Gadjah Mada University, some evidence revealed that coconut wood can be considered as suitable for power line poles provided it is treated with an appropriate method prior to its use. Although the central part of the stem has a softer wood of lower specific gravity, the outer parts have a compression strength parallel to the grain of at least 300 kg/cm². Its treatability is listed in class IV (>160 to 320 kg of preservative solution per cubic metre of wood) based on samples treated with a 3% 'Tanalith' solution by the hot-and-cold bath process. However, if treated to saturation by the cold soaking method using a similar solution it needed a period of one month to arrive at that stage and a further period of 5 weeks to reach an air-dry condition.
H Yudodibroto

Coconut lumber for wood decks (Cocos nucifera L.): decay resistance against Basidiomycetes fungi
2012 - IRG/WP 12-10784
Since a couple of years, manufactured products of coconut wood for outdoor uses like wood decks have been proposed on the European market. These are presented as an alternative for traditional tropical timbers. In the past, coconut wood was neglected and burned for sanitary reasons and lack of interest at industrial scale. Plantation coconut trees at end of production of copra constitute a renewable resource with high added value. In order to convince the markets, natural durability for outdoor use, without preservative treatment, against wood destroying fungi characteristic of northern temperate regions is a major property that has to be checked. Natural durability of coconut lumber was tested in the laboratory according to the European standard EN 15083-1 against brown (Coniophora puteana) and white (Coriolus versicolor) rot decay basidiomycetes fungi. Beech wood specimens were used as virulence controls. Mass losses were determined after 16 weeks exposure. The results showed that tested coconut wood is very resistant to the brown rot fungus Coniophora puteana and resistant to the white rot fungus Coriolus versicolor. Mass loss and density of tested samples with C. versicolor are inversely related. In addition, the density shows a large variability in the test sample, more than 500 kg / m³. These results confirm that after a selection on density criteria, the natural durability of Coconut lumber is sufficient for outdoor application in use class 3 (based on European standard EN 335 and in line with EN 460).
B Jourez, C Verheyen, J Van Acker