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New principles for the protection of wood: Impregnation with waterborne resins
1995 - IRG/WP 95-40047
The environmental impact of classical wood preservatives as well as the use of tropical wood species with high natural durability is regarded increasingly critically in the public. Therefore other partially new principles for the protection of wood, like chemical modification, or treatment with resins were examined especially in USA, Japan and in Europe with promising results predominantly in the lab scale. The work to be presented is focused on the feasibility to upgrade wood by a wide spectrum of water-borne resins under practical conditions of processing. The chemicals examined range from purely physically effective resins by hydrophobation and mechanical blockage up to such promising a chemical modification by their reactive groups. The behaviour of the resin solutions in a pressure process as well as the penetration parallel and orthogonal to the grain were investigated. Further, resin-uptake, improvement of hardness, and dimension stability, were examined. SEM studies are intended to show penetration pathways and linkage of the resins to the cell wall. Running tests on the investigation of the resistance against basidiomycetes and softrot fungi are not yet completed.
A O Rapp, R-D Peek

Functional silicones used as a potential tool for the development of non-biocidal wood treatments
2015 - IRG/WP 15-30665
The increase of wood resistance against biological agents for outdoor use is conventionally performed by deep impregnation with preservatives. However, some of the traditional wood preservatives, used for decades for wood protection and regarded as the most effective, are currently subjected to severe restrictions because of their toxicity. In fact, new preservation technologies are constantly entering the wood protection market. Silicones are commercially used as hydrophobic agents in several industrial applications. In this study, small Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) specimens were impregnated with silicone-based solutions and emulsions in order to increase wood hydrophobicity. Silicones used were previously functionalized with specific functions able to graft to the hydroxyl groups responsible for the wood hygroscopic nature. The silicones grafting on wood limit water uptake and their potential release to the environment. The results of the relative water uptake showed that several formulations significantly reduce the water content of wood by either filling wooden cavities or impeding water absorption. Silicones faintly functionalized present the better water uptake diminution while silicones with high functionalization level cannot reduce water uptake due to their hydrophilic character produced by the specific functions.
F Lhumeau, C Delaite, F Marchal, F Pochon, M Kutnik

Insight in moisture dynamics of wood treated with organosilicon compounds
2016 - IRG/WP 16-20598
The SILEX project “Improving sustainability of construction materials using innovative Silicon based treatment” is a Life+ project with reference LIFE+11 ENV/BE/1046 and started in April 2013. This project intends to demonstrate that a new class of compounds can be used for wood treatment for an extended service life combined with enhanced new testing methodology. The project aims at demonstrating that treatments with silicon-based hydrophobers have a lower impact on the environment with a lower input of biocides. This paper gives some results related to moisture dynamics and the relationship between simulated outdoor tests and laboratory methods. Different initiatives related to service life prediction of timber products and wood based panels have indicated that besides intrinsic biological durability of the material the wetting and drying over time is also a key parameter. Attempts to quantify this role are leading to a range of data sets according to different methodologies. Besides solid timber of different wood species and plywood the correlation between laboratory test methods and actual time of wetness recorded in field experiments are also useful for wood treated with hydrophobers like organosilicon compounds.
J Van Acker, J Van den Bulcke, I De Windt, S Colpaert, S De Rocker, S Salvati, J-P Lecomte

Functional silicones used for wood protection: preliminary study
2017 - IRG/WP 17-30720
Due to worldwide regulation the wood preservation domain is constantly changing. Silicones are used for different industrial applications as hydrophobic agents. This property could enable to reduce water uptake of wood treated with these compounds. Treated wood could then be less prone to dimensional variation and fungal attack, those parameters being driven by variations in wood’s moisture content. In the present study, Scots pine specimens were treated with different silicone-based products, either separately or in combination. The aim of combining silicones was to create a hydrophobic network protecting the surface of wood from water ingress and fungal attack. In addition to fungal resistance and dimensional stability, protection against wood boring insects is required for most applications. Nevertheless silicones used in this study did not demonstrate any ability to protect wood against insects. Consequently, permethrin at different concentrations was combined to the first silicone. Water uptake, resistance against Reticulitermes termite, longhorn beetle Hylotrupes Bajulus and basidiomycete fungi were evaluated after treatment of Scots pine with the different formulations of silicones. Resistance against insects and fungal decay was successfully improved for Scots pine treated with different silicones and water uptake was decreased. In addition, silicones applied to wood demonstrated limited leachability over time, supporting possible use for outdoor applications. The tested silicone-based formulations, containing only an insecticide but protecting wood both against insects and fungi, could be regarded as a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional wood preservatives, which contains both insecticides and fungicides.
C Reynaud, F Marchal, F Pochon, M Kutnik