IRG Documents Database and Compendium


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IRG/COIPM INTERNATIONAL MARINE TEST - to determine the effect of timber substrate on the effectiveness of water-borne salt preservatives in sea-water. Progress Report 2: Report of treatment and installation in Australia
1978 - IRG/WP 440
The purpose of this test and the procedures to be followed have been fully set out in documents distributed by the International Research Group on Wood Preservation and numbered IRG/WP/414 and IRG/WP/420. The prescriptions set out in these two documents have been closely followed.
J Beesley


New technique for inoculation of wood wafers with fungi
1997 - IRG/WP 97-20113
A pilot study is described for determining the best possible method for inoculating fungi onto the surface of wood wafers for sapstain control studies. Direct inoculation and spray inoculation are compared on water soaked and malt extract broth soaked wood wafers. The best growth of fungal hyphae across the surface of the wood wafers was achieved following spray inoculation onto malt extract broth soaked wood wafers.
J Snow, P Vinden


Treatment of messmate (Eucalyptus obliqua L'Hérit) by double-diffusion: Preliminary report
1983 - IRG/WP 3234
Modified double-diffusion is suggested as a method of impregnation for mixed tropical hardwoods for certain types of ground contact use in less developed countries. Compared with vacuum/pressure impregnation, capital costs are low and little skill is needed for the operations involved. Treatment of messmate (Eucalyptus obliqua L'Herit) rounds involving pre-heating in water prior to their immersion in the first stage solutions is described. Preliminary indications are that (i) there is a deeper penetration of arsenic when a compound of this element is used in the first stage solution (ii) a more even and deeper penetration of chromium is obtained when sodium chromate, rather than sodium dichromate, is used in the second stage solution. It is concluded that quality control in double-diffusion may be a limiting factor in the adoption of the process for the treatment of wood unless a simple but effective method is found to control solution concentrations and elemental ratios.
F F K Ampong, C-W Chin


Termite Field Tests of Various Timber Species Treated with permethrin using supercritical carbon dioxide
2005 - IRG/WP 05-10560
Termite field tests were conducted on permethrin-treated Eucalyptus obliqua heartwood, Pinus radiata sapwood and P. radiata LVL. The permethrin was impregnated using either supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) or light organic solvent preservative (LOSP) systems. Comparative permethrin retentions were most accurately achieved in P. radiata sapwood, where no difference between impregnation systems was found in performance against Coptotermes acinaciformis, and a minor difference in favour of scCO2 was found against Mastotermes darwiniensis. P. radiata LVL specimens treated using scCO2 performed slightly better than those impregnated with LOSP, reflecting slightly higher permethrin uptakes in the former. E. obliqua heartwood was completely destroyed by M. darwiniensis when impregnated with LOSP but was mostly sound when scCO2 was used, suggesting improved uniformity of penetration by the latter treatment.
A Qader, L J Cookson, J W Creffield, D Scown


Boron treatment methods for lyctid susceptible hardwoods growing in Tasmania
1998 - IRG/WP 98-30168
A survey of existing boron plants that treat to protect hardwoods from attack by lyctids in Australia showed that hot and cold bath, and vacuum pressure impregnation (vpi), were the two most common methods employed. In experimental work, two of the treatment methods, vpi and dip diffusion, were used to treat seasoned and green messmate (Eucalyptus obliqua) and blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon). The treating solution in both cases was Diffusol. For vpi treatment, a solution of 2.5% boric acid equivalent (BAE) was used to treat rough sawn boards with a Bethell schedule. After treatment, boards were strip stacked on a pallet under cover, later cut in half, and the centres sprayed with turmeric reagent to reveal that all sapwood was adequately treated with boron. The solution for dip diffusion contained 12% BAE. Block stacked timber was dipped, wrapped, and stored to allow diffusion of the boron. All green E. obliqua and A. melanoxylon boards were adequately treated after dipping in Diffusol and two, four or six weeks diffusion. Some of the air dried A. melanoxylon boards could not be adequately treated by this method when diffusion periods were just two or four weeks. However, a six week diffusion period allowed full sapwood treatment of all boards.
L J Cookson, D Scown, K McCarthy


IRG/COIPM INTERNATIONAL MARINE TEST - to determine the effect of timber substrate on the effectiveness of water-borne salt preservatives in sea-water. Progress Report 6: Report of third inspection (24 months) in Australia
1980 - IRG/WP 456
This report presents the results of the third inspection of the IRG/COIPM International Marine Test specimens installed at the Goat Island Marine Biological Station of the Maritime Services Board of New South Wales, in Sydney Harbour. The inspection was completed on 5th December, 1979, after 24 months exposure. As on previous occasions, this inspection was carried out in conformity with the provisions of the Working Plan (see IRG/WP/414) apart from an X-ray examination of the specimens. This facility is not available at the test station. At the conclusion of the inspection, all specimens remaining on the frame designated for removal at this inspection were recovered, re-labelled and despatched to Portsmouth for laboratory examination. The re-designed frames of PVC water-pipe were found to be in good order and can be expected to survive the remaining 5 years of test exposure.
J Beesley


Performance trials of treated hardwood fences
2002 - IRG/WP 02-30281
This paper examines the performance of the traditional hardwood paling fence used in Australia, after preservative treatment. Unseasoned rails, palings and plinths of the low natural durability species Eucalyptus regnans (mountain ash) and E. obliqua (messmate) were treated with PEC (pigment emulsified creosote) or PROCCA (an oil emulsion of CCA). Treated posts of these species were also compared with a naturally durable species used for posts, E. camaldulensis (river red gum). As the sawn timbers were mostly heartwood, penetration depths achieved were generally poor. The effect of incising posts, and notching or cutting timbers before and after treatment were examined, along with alternative construction methods. Performance was compared in laboratory ‘agar trays’, an Accelerated Field Simulator, and the field, enabling correlation between the various test methods. Results, including five year field inspections, showed that the above ground portions of the fence were still sound, compared to an untreated model fence. PEC provided better protection than PROCCA to timbers cut after treatment, due to its ability to bleed across cut surfaces. After five years, PEC treated posts performed as well as untreated E. camaldulensis posts.
L J Cookson D Scown, B Iskra


Ten Year Marine Borer Exposure Trial of Chlorothalonil and Emulsified Preservatives in Australia
2003 - IRG/WP 03-30314
Results of a ten-year marine exposure trial at Townsville and Port Stephens are presented. Sawn Pinus radiata and natural round Eucalyptus obliqua specimens were treated with preservatives including creosote (HTC), pigment emulsified creosote (PEC), chlorothalonil, and the oil emulsions of CCA called PROCCA and HYCON. Basic zinc chloride treatment was also exposed at Townsville. Some of the findings were that P9 oil treatment of Pinus radiata prevented teredinid attack over ten years, although specimens had failed to Limnoria. A double treatment of CCA plus oil may therefore be effective. PEC performed sightly better than HTC on an equivalent creosote retention basis. Treatment using 5% chlorothalonil in oil generally gave similar performance to HTC. PROCCA performed better than CCA at equivalent CCA retentions against teredinids, most likely due to the small amount of oil (5%) present in the formulation. Basic zinc chloride provided resistance to marine borers, although treated P. radiata was softened due to the acidity of the treatment solution. One of the better performing timbers was PEC treated turpentine (Syncarpia glomulifera), which was unexpected as retentions achieved were below standard requirements for hardwoods. In the tidal zone, Sphaeroma caused more damage to CCA treated P. radiata at Townsville than Port Stephens, while Limnoria tripunctata was more active at Port Stephens than Townsville.
L J Cookson, D Scown


Decay evaluation of the effectiveness of a LOSP envelope treatment in eucalypt and meranti heartwoods for window joinery
1996 - IRG/WP 96-30099
The effectiveness and penetration in heartwood boards of an LOSP formulation containing TBTN was examined by determining decay resistance to the white-rot fungus Perenniporia tephropora. Boards, one metre long, of Eucalyptus regnans, Eucalyptus delegatensis, Eucalyptus obliqua and Eucalyptus sieberi were treated, along with boards of 'light' and 'dark' meranti. After treatment, blocks were cut from various positions along the boards, including one block from the end grain. All except the end grain blocks were coated with epoxy on their freshly cut end grain surfaces to ensure fungus attack occurred only through the lateral surfaces. Some of the blocks were left intact or unshaved, while others had 2 mm of surface wood (treated envelope) removed by shaving. Eucalyptus sieberi was the most preservative absorbent species examined, providing a mean retention of 51.2 kg/m³. Eucalyptus obliqua absorbed least preservative (15.7 kg/m³). Eucalyptus regnans, Eucalyptus delegatensis, light and dark meranti absorbed similar amounts of LOSP, giving mean retentions between 24.9-33.6 kg/m³. There was resin bleed from two of the meranti specimens after treatment, whereas no exudate or kino bleed was produced by the treated eucalypts. Perenniporia tephropora was unable to decay the untreated heartwood of both Eucalyptus sieberi, and Western red cedar (Thuja plicata), and produced minor decay in some Eucalyptus obliqua blocks. Untreated blocks of the other timbers were decayed. LOSP treatment improved the decay resistance of the end grain blocks from light meranti, dark meranti, Eucalyptus regnans and Eucalyptus delegatensis, however only light meranti gained significant protection after treatment in blocks cut from the remaining positions along the board.
L J Cookson, A Trajstman


Limnoria quadripunctata Holthuis - a threat to copper-treated wood
1983 - IRG/WP 4100
This paper presents the first reported attack by the crustacean marine wood-borer Limnoria quadripunctata Holthuis of CCA treated eucalypt piles. The attack occurred after 12 years service of the piles in the River Derwent at Hobart, Tasmania. Attack by both this borer and Limnoria tripunctata Menzies is also reported in CCA treated softwoods and hardwoods over periods ranging from 5 to 22.9 years in Sydney Harbour. No estimate of the relative importance of the two borers in CCA treated wood at the Sydney site could be made. Chemical analyses of some of the attacked wood specimens is provided.
J E Barnacle, L J Cookson, C N McEvoy


A determination of the toxic level of ACQ2100 wood preservative for the powder post borer Lyctus brunneus (Stephens)
1994 - IRG/WP 94-20029
The sapwood of two Lyctus susceptible Australian hardwoods, messmate (Eucalyptus obliqua L'Herit.) and black bean (Castanospermum australe A. Cunn. et Fraser ex Hook) were pressure impregnated with ACQ2100, a wood preservative, to produce replicates of a range of retentions. Preservative retentions were determined by solution weight uptake at treatment and chemical analyses of selected samples was attempted. After post treatment seasoning, timber specimens were exposed to fresh adult Lyctus (Stephens) beetles and allowed to stand in an environment controlled insectary. After 1.5 times the life cycle time for the insects in control specimens, the trial was evaluated for Lyctus activity. A table of preservative retentions and insect activity is provided. A toxic level of ACQ2100 for Lyctus is proposed.
A R Moffat


Boracol 40 - A potential remedial and preservative treatment for lyctids
1983 - IRG/WP 1192
The paper reports on a preliminary assessment of the efficacy of a diffusion formulation, Boracol 40, when applied as a brush treatment: to the surface of Eucalyptus obliqua against the powder-post borer Lyctus brunneus. After a five month bioassay, Boracol 40 has severely retarded the progress of active infestations of Lyctus brunneus and has been 100 per cent effective as a preventative treatment
J W Creffield, H Greaves, C D Howick


Effect of a Water Repellent Treatment on Moisture Behavior of Three Australian Hardwoods: A Preliminary Report
2021 - IRG/WP 21-40921
Wood is inherently hygroscopic and will sorb moisture either directly from the atmosphere or via capillary action. Moisture can have marked effects on wood properties and repeated wetting and drying creates dimensional changes that lead to physical damage. Exposure to elevated moisture levels also increases the risk of fungal attack. Wood preservatives have long been used to minimize the risk of fungal attack, but general concerns about all chemicals have encouraged exploration of alternative protection strategies, including water repellents that help keep moisture conditions below those required for fungal attack. The potential for a commercial water repellent to limit moisture uptake and dimensional changes was evaluated on Tasmanian shining gum (Eucalyptus nitens), messmate (E. obliqua), and southern blue gum (E. globulus) with prolonged water immersion. In general, dipping samples in the water repellent produced no noticeable improvement on either moisture uptake or dimensional change over 512 hours of immersion; however, moisture uptake in all wood samples was very slow and limited to the outer 5 mm of the sections. The results are discussed with specific reference to the use of these species in above ground applications with minimal preservative treatment.
B Hassan, J J Morrell, K Wood


Effect of densification of Eucalyptus nitens and E. obliqua on moisture uptake, swelling, decay resistance, and fire performance
2022 - IRG/WP 22-40946
Some Australian Eucalyptus species that are abundantly available have low natural durability and poor resistance to fire. These same species are also extremely difficult to treat with preservatives or fire retardants using conventional pressure treatment methods due to a large proportion of refractory heartwood. The aim of this research was to understand whether thermo-mechanical densification had any beneficial effects on the durability or fire performance of plantation Eucalyptus nitens and regrowth Eucalyptus obliqua. Moisture uptake, mass loss and swelling of the samples after exposure to brown and white rot fungi (F. ostreiformis and P. coccineus) were used to analyse the decay resistance of the densified material, while cone calorimeter tests were used to indicate heat release rates. Thermo-mechanical densification has many positive attributes for improving hardness and modifying colour but did not improve decay resistance or fire performance of the samples, however further testing is advised.
B Hassan, J J Morrell, F Wiesner, W Wu, B Belleville, K C Wood