IRG Documents Database and Compendium

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Fungus cellar testing as an evaluation method for performance of treated timber in ground contact
2001 - IRG/WP 01-20227
A fungus cellar method for the accelerated evaluation of performance of treated wood in ground contact is described. The test soil comprised of sandy loam, vermiculite and Japanese horticulture soil "Kanumatsuchi" in a ratio of 6:2:2 by volume. The soil was inoculated with the dominant test fungus isolated with selective medium from decayed wood samples. Pairs of treated and untreated wood specimens Japanese cedar in contact with each other were buried vertically for two thirds their length. Assessment of the specimens was carried out periodically using the FFPRI graveyard damage index six- grade scale. Important factors for accelerating decay were the moisture control of the mixed soil, temperature and relative humidity, and the maintenance of fungus activity. The fungus used for inoculation favored a soil water holding capacity (WHC) of 50-80%. Under these conditions the untreated control specimens had a damage index in six months equivalent to three years FFPRI graveyard test service life, the decay accelerating rate by the fungus cellar to the graveyard test was 6 times. Under higher soil moisture conditions (WHC>80%) in the fungus cellar, soft rot was dominant and the decay rate was slower. DDAC treated specimens (8.4kg/m3) had a damage index of 2.6 in three years and 3.0 in four years. DDAC treated specimens (8.2kg/m3) in the graveyard test have been shown to be durable for 12 years (damage index of 2.3 in ten years and 2.6 after 12 years). This fungus cellar method has been shown to accelerate decay in DDAC treated specimens 3 times or more in comparison to the FFPRI graveyard test. On the other hand specimens treated with Copper-azole (6.0kg/m3 as retention of actives) had a damage index of 0 after eight years. The average service life in the FFPRI graveyard test is not decided as the Copper-azole treated specimens are in sound condition so it is not yet possible to evaluate the accelerating rate for the Copper-azole by the fungus cellar method. The fungus cellar method will be an useful method for the accelerated evaluation of performance of treated wood in ground contact provided the test conditions can be controlled.
Y Nagano

Field trial with poles of Scots pine treated with six different creosotes
1996 - IRG/WP 96-30115
In the middle of the 50's field trials with creosote-treated poles were started in France, Germany and Sweden. The trials were initiated by WEI (Western-European Institute for Wood Preservation). Six different creosotes were used and 40 poles per creosote were installed at each test field. Results after 39 years of exposure in Simlangsdalen, Sweden are reported. Poles treated with a heavy creosote were less decayed than poles treated with medium-heavy creosotes. Poles treated with a light creosote were most decayed.
Ö Bergman

Phoracantha semipunctata Fab. dans le sud-ouest Espagnol: Lutte et dommages
1985 - IRG/WP 1250
L G Tirado

Trend in entomology of wood in use and in storage in Nigeria
1978 - IRG/WP 180
The current and potential impact of biotic agents of wood deterioration in Nigeria is reviewed, with emphasis on the insects and marine borers, their recognition and mode of damage. Some essential areas have no doubt been neglected and these are highlighted, while future lines of approach are outlined.
M O Akanbi

Über Wespen als Holzverderber - Schäden, Ursachen, Bekämpfung
1978 - IRG/WP 189
Observations and a number of actual cases over recent years show that wasps have been associated more frequently with damage to wood. The nature of such damage and the agents involved are as follows: 1. Decay following infestation by Woodwasps (Siricidae). 2. Punctate marks caused by superficial gnawing and also boring into wood by larvae of the Dock sawfly (Tenthredinidae). 3. Damage due to superficial scarification by Vespids (Vespidae). Little is known as yet of the causes of this damage and its connection with the insects. A better understanding would help in preventing damage to construction components as well as the loss of wood and would benefit the reputation of wood as a building material. Methods of prevention and control and of remedying the damage are mentioned, based on tests and practical experience.
S Cymorek

Termite standards questionnaire survey. Second Report
1989 - IRG/WP 1395
Information contained in replies received from IRG members responding to the survey continue to be summarised. Again, highlighted in this second report are the major termite species in the various zoogeographical regions, their damage ranking to timber-in-service, the chemicals used in control methods, and the status of the termite standards in the respondent countries.
J R J French, J P La Fage

Preservative treatment of Eucalyptus saligna fence posts by the double-diffusion method
1982 - IRG/WP 3196
Eucalyptus saligna fence posts treated by the double-diffusion method with two chemical combinations showed average lives of 11.2 years (copper sulphate and potassium dichromate at 10.5 kg/m³ retention)and of 14.3 years (copper sulphate and sodium mono-H arsenate at 7.1 kg/m³ retention), as determined in five test sites in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The exponential model was the best fit when expressing average life by the Decay Index (DI) as a function of time.
E S Lepage, A R De Freitas

Conservation of wooden cultural property
1994 - IRG/WP 94-30038
A survey of the conservation of wooden archtitectual monuments, art objects and archaeological finds is presented. Each of the three areas has typical conservation problems which reqire the use of selected wood preservatives and consolidation agents. Furthermore specific protection and consolidation methods are necessary. A precise damage diagnosis with non-destructive testing methods is the first step in a careful conservation work.
A Unger, W Unger

An investigation concerning Camponotus spp. distribution and damage in buildings in Sweden
1985 - IRG/WP 1248
This is a report of an investigation by a Swedish insurance company on the occurrences of damage by Carpenter ants during 1974 to 1981. The distribution of damage in walls, roofs and floors of both permanent homes and summer-houses has been assessed. It is concluded that the increased frequency of attack is becoming economically serious.
V Butovitsch, K-J Hedqvist, C Tornberg

Termite standards questionnaire survey - First Report
1988 - IRG/WP 1354
Information contained in replies received from IRG members responding to the termite standards questionnaire survey are summarised. Highlighted in the results of this first report are the major termite species in the various zoogeographical regions, their damage ranking to timber-in-service, the chemicals used in control methods, and the status of termite standards in the respondent countries.
J R J French, J P La Fage

Damage by wood-attacking insects in buildings in Sao Paulo State - Brazil. (including errata slip)
1978 - IRG/WP 175
From 1974 to 1978 up to 602 buildings attacked by wood-boring insects were inspected by Instituto de Pesquisas Tecnologicas in Sao Paulo State - Brazil. Damage was caused mainly by subterranean termites, dry-wood termites and wood-attacking beetles. Up to US $ 1000,000 is the amount needed to control such insects in the buildings inspected
A T De Lelis

Description of the damage produced by xilophagus Curculionides in Spain
1989 - IRG/WP 1408
Cossoninae are a reduced subfamily of Curculionidae. These xilophagus insects produce significant damage in Spain, mainly affecting old buildings. Their activity is a real problem for the preservation of the country's historical-artistic heritage. The three Cossoninae species most widespread in Spain are described for the first time as well as the conditions under which they develop. The first results on their physiology and specific characteristics are also included. Finally, the interrelationship with other xilophagus agents (fungi and insects) which are common in Spain, is analyzed.
E L Rodríguez Trobajo

Report of an investigation of damage by wood ants in buildings in Sweden
1976 - IRG/WP 148
Wood ants in buildings occur everywhere in Sweden, particularly in maritime districts and in vicinity of larger lakes. The damage caused by Camponotus herculeanus does not differ from that caused by Camponotus ligniperda. The former occurs in all Sweden, the latter only in southern Sweden. The damage is to be found almost exclusively in dwelling houses (week-end cabins and "all-the-year round" houses) in or close to forests.·Buildings of all ages are liable to wood ants attacks. All wooden part of houses, particularly the walls, can be infested. Sound timber is much more desirable to the insects than wood that is infected with wood-rotting fungi. The construction of the building can sometimes affect the frequency of the damage. This is the case particularly with cabins which lack basements. The decisive part in wood ant migrations from forest to buildings is the distance from the edge of the wood: the shorter this distance the greater the danger of invasion.
V Butovitsch

Wood preservation in the Australian beekeeping industry
1988 - IRG/WP 3473
This paper reports the results of a survey of Australian commercial beekeepers working 200 or more hives in June/July 1985. Nine hundred and forty seven apiarists were asked to participate and to provide information on their wood preservation methods, painting procedures and maintenance of bee boxes. Three hundred and eighty-four apiarists returned completed questionnaires (41%). The main wood preservatives used are copper naphthenate solutions (45%), linseed oil (8%), copper chromated arsenate (3%), hot wax (9%), copper naphthenate solution in linseed oil (3%), linseed oil/wax mixtures (3%) and paint (23%). The majority of apiarists (96%) paint treated bee hives, but there is considerable variation in wood preservative treatment procedures and paint application. Most wood preservative treatments (95%) are of the 'do-it-yourself' variety, radiata pine being the most utilized timber. The bottom boards of bee hives are considered the most susceptible to wood decay and subterranean termite damage, as are cleats, stands or any wood in ground contact.
P J Robinson, J R J French

Oxygen index levels and thermal analysis of wood treated with melamine-formaldehyde-boron combinations
1997 - IRG/WP 97-30135
Melamine formaldehyde (MF) resin was impregnated into scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) specimens with aqueous solutions of 5, 10 and 20% concs. Boric acid (BA) and borax (BX) was added to MF resin at the concentration levels of 0.25, 1.00 and 4.70% to each level of resin concs. BA and BX mixture was prepared at the 5:1 (w/w) ratio considering resultant pH of solutions and better fire resistance. Untreated and treated wood with all combinations were subjected to oxygen index test according to ASTM D 2863-91 and thermal analysis. Results were evaluated in terms of improvement of fire retarding performances of wood by sole or combination treatments.
M K Yalinkilic, W-Y Su, Z Demirci, E Baysal, M Takahashi, S Ishihara

Wood decay in Danish buildings
1985 - IRG/WP 1261
At Technological Institute identification of fungi and advisory activity concerning repair of damages has taken place since 1935. Statistical analyses based on material from 1982 and 1983 are compared to earlier investigations worked out by L. Harmsen. The material shows that building traditions influence the diversity and frequency of fungal species. Many fungal damages in the last decade have showed that it is very important to use timber in a suitable manner not forgetting old building traditions. The conditions of fungal attack must be analysed and followed up by improvement of constructive and chemical wood protection.
A P Koch

Introduction to keynote: Perspective in urban termite biology and management in Southeast Asia
2012 - IRG/WP 12-10786
This keynote lecture will provide a perspective on the pest status of termites in Southeast Asia, the damages they cause to the urban structures, important biological and behavioural characteristics, detection methods and the various management strategies available.
Chow-Yang Lee

Practical testing of wood preservatives to prevent weathering damage and infection by micro-organisms on spruce and pine
1989 - IRG/WP 3530
Brush application, is generally used to prevent wooden window frames from decay caused by influence of weathering and fungi. Accordingly 10 boards of pine (Pinus sylvestris) and spruce (Picea abies) were treated with 10 commercially used wood preservatives. The efficiency of fungicides by using chiptest and blue stain test (EN 152), the effectiveness against weathering as well as the course of colonization of microfungi were measured on boards, that had been hurted by sawing. Results after one year's exposure showed that neither the normally required amount of 250 ml/m² nor the effective depth of penetration of the fungizidal equipment had been realized by using brush application. The smaller the permeability of the coating system, the more likely ideal conditions for the growth of fungi (e.g. basidiomycetes) are provided, answering hurtings of the coating and moisture contents of more than 30%. The variety of fungi (on pine 32 and on spruce 17 species) can be a result of anatomical differences and distinguished compounds of the wood species. After 24, respectively 36 weeks of exposure the frequent occurrance of basidiomycetous yeasts (Cryptococcus albidus, Rhodotorula mucilaginosa), blue stain fungi (Aureobasidium pullulans, Hormonema dematioides), Epicoccum nigrum, Alternaria alternata and Phoma species was noted.
R Gründlinger, O Janotta, H Melzer, K Messner

Influence of bark damage on bluestain development in pine logs
1997 - IRG/WP 97-10197
Mechanized harvesting of conifers can lead to extensive bark damage, with the resulting wounds providing suitable entry points for bluestain fungi that are not associated with bark beetle vectors. However, the amount of bluestain colonisation can vary greatly between the different types of wound. To evaluate the effect of wound type seven different types of wounds were artificially created on freshly felled logs of Corsican pine. These ranged from barely visible punctures, to the removal of large strips of bark, simulating typical harvester damage. The logs were left in the field exposed to natural inocula of wood degrading fungi and assessed after 6 and 12 weeks. Results indicated that surface area of injury was not the best parameter for predicting the rate and extent of staining. Minor disruptions of the bark e.g. crushing and punctures, were sometimes associated with substantial amounts of stain development. Wounds with flaps of loosened but still attached bark were especially susceptible to bluestain colonization, but additional damage to exposed wood surfaces did not result in more stain. Stain development was strongly associated with the edges of wounds where the bark and exposed wood met. Excluding potential bluestain vectors such as bark beetles and weevils by enclosing the logs in netting did not markedly reduce stain, suggesting that micro-arthropods such as mites play an important part in disseminating bluestain fungi to wounds produced during harvesting and log extraction.
A Uzunovic, J F Webber, D J Dickinson

Climate indices at work: Above ground decay L-joint tests (EN 330 and AWPA E9) at two sites 12000 km apart and with Scheffer climate indices of 60-65 and 300-330
1996 - IRG/WP 96-20095
Matched sets of Scots pine sapwood (Pinus sylvestris) L-joints were exposed above ground at two field sites for approximately five years. One site, at Garston, Watford, UK has a climate index between 60 and 65 while the other, close to Hilo, HI, USA has an index between 300 and 330. The joints were treated with a range of organic solvent treatments applied either by three minute dip immersion or by double vacuum. Untreated joints were installed at each site as control material. All samples were assessed at approximately annual intervals at both sites. After five years, decay at the Hilo site is well advanced with failure apparent in many joints, both untreated and treated. As would be expected given the climatic differences, decay at the Garston site has progressed more slowly than in Hilo. Differentiation in treatment performance was apparent after one year's exposure in Hilo with similar differentiation becoming apparent after five years' exposure in Garston. This acceleration correlates well with the difference in Climate Index for the two sites as calculated using the Scheffer method. Encouragingly, the performance ranking of the different treatments at the two sites was very similar. The results of this test suggest that the concept of using high decay hazard sites for field testing of treated wood products for use in above ground situations can provide meaningful results in a short period, and may offer a timely and realistic alternative to relative preservative testing to that achieved in laboratory test regimes. The results also show that above ground field testing at both of the sites included provide valuable information on preservative performance, and this information is likely to provide a greater degree of realism than is possible using pure culture laboratory test procedures.
A F Preston, K J Archer, D M Roberts, J K Carey, A F Bravery

Performance of treated spruce in Canadian field test sites
1989 - IRG/WP 3506
Spruce material under test in Canadian field test sites is performing better than anticipated. From the comparison of the performance of spruce treated with various preservatives, it appears that penetration may be far more important on durability performance than the preservative itself or the retention of preservatives in the wood. However, there is still insufficient data on the influence of penetration on the performance of treated spruce. As data for species other than white spruce and data for sawn material is also incomplete, spruce cannot be accepted by the Canadian standards at this time.
J P Hösli, E E Doyle

Evaluation of termiticides in field trials
1990 - IRG/WP 3633
Termiticide-treated posts and stakes have been tested at the field test site in Kagoshima, Southern Kyushu, Japan. Various commercial and alternative termiticides have been evaluated annually as TAI (termite attack index), calculated by the equation: TAI = R x P, where R is the mean of attack rating of 0 (sound), 10 (sign of tasting), 30 (slight attack), 50 (moderate attack), 100 (severe attack), and P is the ratio of attacked posts (stakes) to total posts (stakes) tested, expressed as 0.0-1.0 . CCA-impregnated Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) posts have well performed keeping 0 TAI over nine years. AAC-treated pine (Pinus radiata) stakes with 9.3 kg/m³ DDAC (didecyldimethyl ammonium chloride) or 9.4 kg/m³ BTAC (methylalkylbenzyltrimethyl ammonium chloride) have been free from decay, but they yielded 34 or 42 TAI after eight years. Improvement of termite resistance was revealed by addition of cupric chloride or cuprammonium chloride. Brushing treatment of pine (Pinus densiflora) stakes, with 200 g/m chlordane (2.0%), chlorpyrifos (1.0%) or tetrachlorvinfos (1.0%) solutions, did not provide the perfect control for five years, yielding 30, 42 and 48 TAI, respectively.
M Takahashi, Y Imamura, K Tsunoda, A Adachi, K Nishimoto

Envelope treatment to protect softwood timbers from damage by subterranean termites
2003 - IRG/WP 03-30313
Two aboveground field trials were conducted in Australia to determine the effectiveness of envelope treatments of deltamethrin and permethrin for the protection of softwood framing timbers against termite damage. Radiata pine Pinus radiata D.Don and slash pine Pinus elliottii Englem., were treated with Tanalithä T (a novel solvent) to achieve 5-mm-depth envelopes. Details of a field trial against Coptotermes acinaciformis (Froggatt) in the Northern Territory and another in southeast Queensland are presented. At the conclusion of the 12-month field trial in the Northern Territory, all timber specimens had evidence of contact by C. acinaciformis. All envelope treatments protected the test specimens. The novel solvent system appeared to contribute to the overall effectiveness of the deltamethrin and permethrin envelope treatments. Similar results were obtained from the seven-month field trial in southeast Queensland using a different test method against C. acinaciformis and Schedorhinotermes seclusus (Hill). Termites did not cause damage to test specimens via untreated cut ends. Consequently, there appears to be no need to apply a supplementary treatment to exposed cut ends of envelope-treated softwood framing material, with regard to C. acinaciformis or S. seclusus.
B C Peters, J W Creffield

How to keep coated wood structures sufficiently dry to avoid damage caused by rot
1991 - IRG/WP 2376
During the last ten years, a new type of problems with wood rot has emerged in Scandinavia. Thousands of houses have been damaged by wood rot attaching to the exterior wood panel. This paper provides an overview of finished and ongoing work in order to identify the cause of these problems. In field tests, the moisture conditions were measured in panels coated with different paint systems. The influence of the panel structure and end-grain sealing on the moisture balance was also studied. The results from these tests show a large difference in the moisture balance between panels with different exterior wood coatings. In laboratory tests, the transmission of water vapour through paint films was measured using a modified cup method, which provides more realistic conditions for coated wood than the common cup method. One interesting observation made in the studies reported here is that latex paints seem to be much more permeable at high levels of relative humidity than earlier research has shown.
S Hjort

An overview of termite control in buildings in Kenya
1997 - IRG/WP 97-10242
Termites are well known pests of wooden products and structural timber and are responsible for considerable damage in the building sector in sub-Saharan Africa. A general diagnostic survey of damaging termite species in agriculture, forestry and buildings was carried out for the first time in Kenya (1991-1992). Termite species implicated in damage to wooden materials and structural timber in buildings included Ancistrotermes spp., Odontotermes spp., Allodontermes spp., Pseudacanthotermes spp., Macrotermes spp. and Cryptotermes leylandi ( imported). A pilot questionnaire survey of termite control in the building sector (January-June 1992) indicated that a wide range of timber products in buildings is prone to termite attack. Annual losses due to termites were estimated to be between US $ 8-20 million. Until 1993, aldrin, dieldrin, chlorpyrifos and lindane were the termiticides of choice in building protection and general termite control. However, there has been a general trend to discontinue organochlorine termiticides. Pre-site inspection and treatment is normally a requirement in the building sector. A detailed follow-up survey has been planned for early 1997 to update the data got from the earlier pilot survey. Future termite control research in Kenya should look into more environmentally sustainable chemical compounds and biopesticides such as Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae.
G R S Ochiel, W Gitonga, L Toft

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