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Issues Facing Wood Preservation in Australia Today
2003 - IRG/WP 03-30327
Timber and timber products are a major part of the Australian building industry and preservative treatment is a common consideration for most timber users. Despite this however, there is a major lack of awareness by the users of the various issues associated with preservative treatment. Australian treatment specifications are logical, concise and uncomplicated. There are three agencies in Austr...
J Norton

Copper borate for the protection of engineered wood products
2006 - IRG/WP 06-40334
Copper borate was evaluated for use in protecting oriented strand board (OSB) from mould, decay, and termites. Aspen OSB bonded with either phenolic or isocyanate resin was treated with several formulations of copper borate at various loadings from 0.26 to 4 percent by weight. These panels were then tested to determine the impact of the preservative on mechanical properties as well as resistance ...
R Smart, W Wall

Future Directions in Wood and Engineered Wood Products Research in China
2009 - IRG/WP 09-40479
This paper has summarized the research advance of basic wood science and engineered wood products in the 20th century in China and introduced the research advance and directions of basic wood science, engineered wood products and the extensive researches based on the basic wood science such as wood chemical rheology, wood fractal analysis, wood environmental science and nano-wood material etc in t...
Guangjie Zhao

TRU-CORE Process for Treatment of Refractory Species and Engineered Wood Products
2011 - IRG/WP 11-40573
The TRU-CORE Process is a novel, chemically-based technology for rapidly delivering globally accepted wood preservatives and insecticides deep into the core of wood and wood-based composites in a waterborne carrier. Protectant materials which can be utilized with the TRU-CORE Process include a variety of carbon-based fungicides and insecticides. An important feature of the TRU-CORE Process is it...
A S Ross

Glueline fungicides in veneer based engineered wood products - results from laboratory work for the H1.2 hazard class in New Zealand
2012 - IRG/WP 12-30593
The use of glueline insecticides in plywood and laminated veneer lumber is commonplace in several countries. However, few glueline fungicides are registered for commercial use with previous work suggesting that achieving control of decay from the glueline is very challenging. This paper summarises two tests completed on Pinus radiata plywood with a new glueline fungicide comprising the active in...
A Siraa, K Day, P Lobb

The durability of manufactured structural building materials
2016 - IRG/WP 16-40718
The projected market potential for Engineered Wood Products such as CLT (cross laminated timber) is very positive however, potential prolonged rain leakage or moisture exposure during construction and in-service could pose considerable concern for its durability and reputation. This research was conducted to assess the decay resistance of CLT and OSB (oriented strand board) in an accelerated trial...
T Singh, D Page

Durability of Thermally Modified Engineered Wood Products
2016 - IRG/WP 16-40745
In this study, rated plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), laminated strand lumber (LSL), and laminated veneer lumber (LVL) were thermally modified as a post-treatment at 140 °C, 150 °C, 160 °C, 170 °C, and 180 °C using a closed, pressurized treatment method. Eastern larch OSB manufactured from heartwood and sapwood was also thermally modified as a post-treatment at 160 °C and 180°C. All ...
H M Barnes, M D Aro, A Rowlen

Lignin-Based Adhesive for Engineered Wood Products
2016 - IRG/WP 16-50319
Lignin as a naturally occurring polyphenolic compound has an excellent potential to replace petroleum-based phenol in formulation of phenol-formaldehyde adhesive that are used in manufacturing of engineered wood products. However, there are three major obstacles in application of polymeric lignin as phenol replacement: 1) low reactivity toward phenol, 2) high molecular weight, and 3) high polydisp...
I Kalami, M Arefmanesh, E Master, M Nejad

A summary of history and use of timber bridges in New Zealand
2017 - IRG/WP 17-40801
Wooden bridges have been an important part of road and rail networks in New Zealand. While wooden structures have largely been replaced by concrete and steel on major arteries they still have a place where lightweight, easily assembled structures are needed. These timber bridges may also be a cheaper alternative to other materials in roads which carry relatively low traffic loads. In the last ten ...
D Page, T Singh

Glueline fungicides in veneer based engineered wood products – updated results from laboratory work for the H1.2 hazard class in New Zealand
2018 - IRG/WP 18-30726
Results from New Zealand H1.2 ‘bin’ trials containing plywood glueline treated with triadimefon and cyproconazole were reported in 2012 (IRG/WP 12-30593). One of these trials has continued to the present day (2108) and updated results of this trial are reported. The triadimefon and cyproconazole glueline treatment continues to compare with, or outperform, the reference preservative used, bei...
A Siraa, K Day, B Kibby

Towards better integration of wood protection in the forestry wood industry chain - a case study on hybrid poplar
2019 - IRG/WP 19-50359
Wood and wood products are limited in service life as in the forest ecosystem trees at end of their life are degraded to re-enter the bio-geochemical cycle. Humans can select wood species with a level of natural durability fit for an envisaged end use. Mainly those applications that require a long service life under conditions that are similar to those at soil level in a forest ecosystem have been...
J Van Acker

Manipulation of the hierarchical wood structure for extended carbon storage in the built environment
2023 - IRG/WP 23-50381
The sustainable processing of trees into construction materials can act as carbon storage. Carbon storage in durable sustainable wooden construction material has cumulative effects and net gain in storage in the built environment that can be offset by net losses in forest carbon by cutting the tree. Carbon storage for an extended period plays an important role in the mitigation of CO2 emissions an...
T Singh, A Arpanaei, D Elustondo, Q Fu

Enhanced durability of bio-based materials for green building
2023 - IRG/WP 23-50382
Wood protection technologies provide tools to enhance the durability of bio-based materials for green building. Both wood and related bio-based material are regarded as eminent for green building. It allows to underpin several of the United Nations sustainable development goals and is regarded critical for the Green Deal objectives of the EU. Nevertheless, to enhance the potential it needs to be b...
J Van Acker, L De Ligne, J Vand den Bulcke

End-of-life options for engineered wood products / Treated timber in a circular economy
2023 - IRG/WP 23-50383
Australians are excellent consumers of products. These products ultimately end up as waste materials and need to go somewhere. Australia produces around 28 million tons of waste per year with around 50% currently ending up in landfill, including a significant amount of timber, engineered wood products (EWP’s), and preservative treated wood (PTW). Limited landfill capacity, increasing costs, and ...
H Brooke

Developments in the protection of wood and wood-based products
1980 - IRG/WP 340
Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the field of wood protection. This current review highlights how modern techniques have provided greater insight into the biological and physical processes affecting the durability of wood and wood-based products. Emphasis is also given to developments in preservative testing methodology and to the encouraging changes towards both the correct...
J M Baker

A practical method to evaluate the dimensional stability of wood and wood products
1990 - IRG/WP 2342
This paper presents a new simple method to evaluate wood and wood products for their resistance to swelling and to assess wood preservatives for their ability to dimensionally stabilize treated wood exposed to water. Permeable wood of various dimensions and treated with different preserving chemicals have been measured for swelling in the radial and tangential direction during immersion in liquid ...
J P Hösli

Forest products laboratory methodology for monitoring decay in wood exposed above ground
1995 - IRG/WP 95-20074
Research at the Forest Products Laboratory on the durability of wood in service has included a full complement of laboratory and field tests. In this report, we present a review of past and current methods used to evaluate the condition of preservative-treated wood exposed above ground. Current protocols are described for tests on wood packaging, roofing, and dimension lumber....
R C De Groot, T L Highley

Draft Business Plan of CEN/TC 38 - Durability of wood and wood-based products - Introduction
2000 - IRG/WP 00-20207
CEN Technical Committees and Business Planning. The extension of formal business planning to CEN Technical Committees (CEN/TCs) is an important measure which forms part of a major review of business processes (known as 'Optimization'). The aim is to align the CEN work programme with expressed market needs and to ensure the adequate resourcing of projects through their development...
R Hüe

Volatile borates in the treatment of wood and wood based panel products against subterranean termites
1995 - IRG/WP 95-30094
Blocks of pine solid wood, oriented strand board and plywood were treated with trimethyl borate by vapour treatment. It was meant to obtain either a full impregnation of the specimens or a shell treatment of the outer three millimetres. The efficacy of the treatments against subterranean termites (Reticulitermes lucifugus) was evaluated using an European Standard method....
L Nunes, D J Dickinson, R J Murphy

Inventaire des "déchets" ou produits connexes de la filière bois
1993 - IRG/WP 93-50001-33
G Marcotte

Work program of CEN/TC 38 (April 1993). Durability of wood and wood-based products
1993 - IRG/WP 93-20012
R Hüe

The Biocidal Products Directive ( 98/8/EC ) - its consequences for the wood preservation industry
2001 - IRG/WP 01-50166-04
1. The Current Position This European Union Directive is one of the most technically complex pieces of legislation that has been developed by the European Commission (EC). Although the Directive was to have been implemented in the legislation of individual Member States of the EU by May 2000 progress has been slow. A number of Member States have yet to declare the Competent Authority who will handle their legislation. The body text of the Directive cannot stand-alone and is dependent on ancillary regulations and the development of technical guidance for both the Competent Authorities in the Member States and also industry to understand their roles in the whole process for the regulation of biocides and the biocidal products containing them. The process is far from complete in terms of a piece of workable legislation and this leaves not only industry but also the Competent Authorities with significant areas of uncertainty. This is potentially economically and socially damaging to the marketing and use of biocides and biocidal products. Because of this evolutionary process this paper can only be written in general terms as by the time the symposium takes place some significant changes to the position at the time of writing may have occurred. 2. Background The Biocidal Products Directive (98/8/EC), (BPD), is a directive which requires that biocides ( as active substances) are approved for use within the EU and the individual biocidal products containing these active substances are approved for use by the Competent Authority(s) of the Member State(s) in which it is intended to market the product. The product authorisation obtained in the first Member State should be mutually recognised by the other Member States in which application for authorisation to place the product on the market is sought. The Directive has to be seen in the context various other Directives, notably the Plant Protection Directive 91/414/EC). Biocidal products are grouped in the directive into twenty three "product types" and wood preservatives are Product Type 8. The intention of the directive is to harmonise the requirements for the placing of biocidal products and active ingredients on the market throughout the EU. EU wide use of so-called Common Principles are intended to be used to assess the dossiers in order to achieve a common approach and eliminate the current situation where individual Member States apply their own particular national approaches and criteria in the assessment and regulation of products . Annex IIA of the directive identifies the data requirements for the active substance and Annex II B for the biocidal product. There are additional data requirements identified in Annexes IIIA and IIIB for each product type reflecting potential for exposure to man and the environment. 3. Entry onto Annex I Any new active substance will require approval before it or any biocidal products including it can be placed on the market. The dossier to be submitted to the EC will have to include additional data and risk assessments for the product types (as defined in the BPD) in which it will be intended to be used. For those active substances that are accepted as being existing substances on the market before May 2000 (say in wood preservatives) these will be ranked and prioritised. This process is being defined in the so-called: Review Regulations. 4. An environmental directive There is no doubt that this Directive has a high environmental content in terms of the data and the associated risk assessments which are to be prepared. The protocols and the end points for some of these data requirements are still being developed. In general the EC considers that modelling exposure using human and environmental exposure scenarios covering the end use of the product is an acceptable approach . Data are required to enable these scenarios to be modelled and risk assessments made. It is necessary that regulators do not make decisions based on hazard assessment alone in the absence of fully worked out and agreed emission scenarios to define exposure levels which generate a realistic worst case risk assessment. Risk is a function of both hazard and exposure. A lot of work has been done in the development of Technical Notes for Guidance intended to help the regulator and the applicant in the submission and the interpretation of the data. Whilst it may be the case that the human toxicity data requirements still leave questions to be answered it is in the environmental aspects part of the regulatory process where there is still much work to be done. The Directive would seem to rely heavily on the development of Pass / Fail criteria in simulation tests. This is a big subject and of key importance to the risk assessment. 5. Wood preservatives ---- a test case Wood preservation has achieved a certain reputation. On the one hand it is said that a prime reason for the development of the Biocidal Products Directive arose from European problems in the regulation of the marketing and use of dangerous substances, notably wood preservatives. On the other hand because wood preservatives have been regulated by a number of Member States for many years it is believed they are well understood. The EC and the Member States also wanted to be seen to have achieved early success in the implementation of the Directive therefore the decision was taken to start, following failings with the speed of progress of the Plant Protection Products Directive, with a product type they knew all about i.e. wood preservatives. There is no doubt that there is a much greater understanding on the exposure scenarios, both human and environmental, for wood preservatives than many other product types. However, would it not have been better to have tackled some of the other product types where such an understanding is much less well developed? It is regrettable that the EC and Member States did not feel able to accept the results of an EC sponsored study (Haskoning report) on the assessment of risks for all the product types covered under the BPD. The results of this study clearly showed that wood preservatives did not constitute the most significant risk to man or the environment and in fact the risk was significantly greater for other product types. 6. Wood preservatives and the OECD Biocides Programme Another speaker will be covering this subject in more detail. Suffice it to say that because of the perception there was good knowledge about wood preservatives again they were selected as the pilot for an OECD project looking at environmental and human exposure assessment under the OECD Biocides Programme. The findings from two OECD Workshops actually demonstrated there was still much to be learnt about wood preservatives in order to refine the risk assessments to a state where they would be sufficient for the requirements of the BPD. This work is ongoing but it clearly demonstrates the problems that both the regulator and industry will have in the preparation and the assessment of the dossiers for both the active substances and the biocidal products. This is especially the case for other biocidal products that have not been subject to the same kind of regulation that wood preservatives have subjected to in the past. 7. Inorganic and organic biocides With current wood preservation technology there is still a dependence on inorganic chemicals such as copper (in conjunction with other biocides) or with chromium, as well as arsenic and boron for many end use applications. This is very much the case where a long term service life is a key factor in the use of treated wood for that end use. These substances are commodity chemicals and are also covered under the Existing Substances Regulations (EC) 1488/94. There is also work going on revising the Technical Notes for Guidance covering them . This includes a significant addition in the environmental risk assessment area. Efforts are being made to integrate and coordinate the requirements for both the BPD and the Existing Substances Regulations and OSPAR ( OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic). OSPAR refers to the Oslo Paris Convention. Whilst the BPD seems primarily aimed at the regulation of biocides based on organic chemicals wood preservative products may contain both inorganic and organic components. Indeed there are probably few wood preservative formulations on the market that contain only one active substance. This must have a significant impact on the way the dossiers are prepared for the active substance and the biocidal products and how they are assessed both at the EC and the Member State level. 8. Consequences of the BPD for the wood preservation industry Whilst this paper addresses the consequences for the wood preservation industry per se, it must not be overlooked that there may be implications for the fabricaÈors of articles made from treated timber. Some current wood preservative formulations may over a period of time be withdrawn from the market because the risks and costs of generating the data and the preparation of the dossier make the product economically unviable. The presence of large working volumes of wood preservative solutions at treatment plants requires realistic withdrawal periods to avoid the unnecessary disposal and associated environmental risk of products that have been used satisfactorily for many years. 9. Availability of active substances The structure of the industry has changed dramatically in the past few months and there is no doubt that other changes both within and outside the wood preservation industry itself are yet to happen. The original differentiation between formulator of wood preservatives and active substance suppliers to the wood preservation industry has become blurred. Some of the active substances used in wood preservation are used in other either other biocidal product types or in products regulated under another directive, e.g. Plant Protection Products Directive 91/414/EC. 10. Data protection This continues to be a key issue for industry and some companies may find it strategically or financially necessary not to support an active substance in a particular product type thus leaving that sector without being able to use the active substance. The coming months will start to reveal which active substances are likely to be supported, at least through the notification process. Formulators are therefore in a close dialogue with their suppliers to try to determine their intentions on whether or not they intend to support their active substance. Today's wood preservative formulations are largely multi active substance based. Product costs, efficacy spectra, niche marketing and other considerations have made this process inevitable. New wood preservative formulations take time to research and develop and the continuity of availability of a choice of active substances is of key importance. A lack of adequate return on investment necessary to sustain the development of new products could have a negative impact on innovation and the rate of introduction of new products. It is extremely unlikely that any new active substance will be solely developed for use in wood preservation. This would be an effect contrary to expectations of the EC. The situation with wood preservatives is complicated by the fact that treated wood is a construction product and comes under the scope of the Construction Products Directive (89/106/EEC) (CPD). Products under the scope of the CPD are required to meet certain so-called essential requirements and one of these is durability. Demonstration of compliance involves the extensive suite of CEN wood preservative efficacy tests. Even relatively small changes in formulations may require extensive re-testing under the EN 599 regime in some Member States. 11. Task Forces Companies are encouraged by the EC to enter into Task Forces in order to reduce the burden of testing on animals and also to reduce the number of dossiers to be reviewed for each active substance. Ideally, and understandably, the EC would like one dossier per active substance. Parts of the wood preservation industry have been co-operating in Task Forces and much practical experience has been gained. Even closer co-operation will be required and this will enable companies to pool experience and expertise and manage their financial exposure to potentially high regulatory costs by sharing them amongst a larger number of parties. 12. Financial aspects Industry will have to make some best guesses with respect to its investment programmes for supporting its portfolio of products. Formulators and active substance suppliers are likely to group into Task Forces in order to reduce their costs in terms of data generation and the fees likely to be charged at the EU and the Member State level for the assessment of the dossiers. The compilation of the dossiers requires specialist expertise to assist the industrial applicant(s). This is likely to cost in the order of £100,000 per active substance, not including the costs of generating any data. The Rapporteur State's costs for reviewing the dossier is also expected to be of the same order. Clearly these kinds of costs will impact on innovation. An adequate payback must be available to the company to justify this level of investment. 13. Will mutual recognition work? Member States are required to recognise the authorisation of the biocidal product placed on the market in the first Member State when subsequent applications are made to place the product on the market. This is a fundamental principle of the BPD, although there is concern that Member States continue to have enough flexibility to prevent this happening if there are particular concerns in that Member State. Industry very much hopes this will not be the case and that mutual recognition, a fundamental principle of the BPD, will work in practice. 14. Environmental aspects Biocidal products such as wood preservatives are generally applied in controlled situations and not over large areas. Consequently any emissions can be considered to be from discreet sources, such as treated timber or potentially from timber treatment plants. This is in contrast to plant protection products and some other biocidal products that are usually dispersed over a relatively large area. Because of this a lot of work is required to be done to re evaluate how the environmental aspects of biocidal products such as wood preservatives can be assessed in an objective manner. The criteria that define an emission and how the PEC (Predicted Environmental Concentration) for each environmental compartment is determined are critical. The wood preservation industry, through the EWPM (European Wood Preservative Manufacturers Group), has been working with institutes and other interested parties in a co-operation known as the EFG (Environment Focus Group) to progress the development of appropriate methodology. Data will be required for both primary and secondary exposure to treated timber. The protocols for this work are yet to be agreed. This work is being further progressed in the OECD together with input from CEN TC 38 WG27. This co-operation between the OECD and CEN is extremely significant in that it is, I believe, the first time such a co-operation has taken place in the development of an OECD Guideline. If one considers all of the end uses where treated timber may be found carrying out a risk assessment with few guidelines on how it should be done is a very uncertain process for both industry and the regulator. Reliance on so-called expert opinion may be inadequate. 15. Comparative assessment (the substitution principle) This is a process whereby the health safety and environmental properties of acti_u101 ? substances used in the same product type could be compared and those with the most undesirable properties would not be placed on Annex I. Consequently biocidal products containing them would have to be removed from the market. This process is embodied in the BPD but it was initially considered that it would only be applied in the event of problems arising with active substances or products containing them rather than being used as a screening tool early on in the review process for active substances. This area is still an uncertain one with Member States having different interpretations of this principle. It is unfortunate that the wood preservation industry could be used to test out this concept at a European level. The consequences of this principle could be further losses of active substances available to the wood preservative formulators. 16. Substances of concern The BPD is not only concerned with the active substances that are formulated into the biocidal product but also with so-called "substances of concern". These are defined as any substance, other than the active substance, which has the inherent capacity to cause an adverse effect on humans, animals or the environment and is present or is produced in a biocidal product in sufficient concentration to create such an effect. There are significant implications for the formulator of the biocidal product . The formulator may have to submit an extensive dossier containing toxicological and metabolic as well as ecological data on each of the substances of concern when seeking approval for the biocidal product. There may be classes of compounds that become unavailable to the formulator either because of the risks posed by the co-formulant or because the cost of generating data will be uneconomic. 17. The wood preservation Industry's view on the BPD Industry has supported the development of the BPD since its conception in 1989. It is still supportive it but believes that the degree of complexity is disproportionate to the level of risk when it comes to wood preservatives. After all wood preservatives have been regulated for a long time and in reality there have been few significant health safety and environmental problems associated with them. Industry believes there is no need to determine an absolute understanding about a biocide and its application but rather there is a need to determine the level of understanding that will enable characterisation so that a risk assessment can be made. The wood preservation industry has sought either directly or through representative bodies a pro-active and collaborative approach with the regulators although at times this appears to have encouraged inappropriate demands. The regulators have invariably responded positively to this however they may not always understand the burden in both time and resource in having made wood preservatives the test case. Industry hopes that its efforts to be pro-active will be recognised and will be dealt with equitably when considered before the other product types defined in the Biocidal Products Directive.
D Aston

Developments in wood preservation processing techniques in New Zealand
1980 - IRG/WP 3143
P Vinden, A J McQuire

Wood preservation in Kenya
2000 - IRG/WP 00-40191
Current research on wood preservation in Kenya is mainly on the development of biological control of wood-destroying termite species, using mycoinsecticides. The major research institutions include the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), Moi University and the International Centre for Insect Physiology (ICIPE). Training institutions include Fore...
G Ochiel

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 E...
R-D Peek

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