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Wood furfurylation process and properties of furfurylated wood
2004 - IRG/WP 04-40289
The first processes for “furfurylation” of wood (wood modification with furfuryl alcohol) were developed several decades ago. Furfuryl alcohol is a renewable chemical since it is derived from furfural, which is produced from hydrolysed biomass waste. Over the last decade modernised processes for furfurylation of wood have been developed. These new processes are based on new catalytic systems and process additives. Two main processes for production of furfurylated wood have been developed for WPT (Wood Polymer Technology ASA) by the authors – Kebony 100 for high modification levels of hardwoods and VisorWood for lower modification levels of pine. Commercial production according to the Kebony process has been running since August 2000, mainly for flooring. A small Kebony production plant is now in operation in Lithuania. A larger Kebony/VisorWood production plant started up in September 2003 in Porsgrunn, Norway. Several new plants operating according to the VisorWood process, each with an annual capacity of 10 000 m³ or more, are under construction. The properties of furfurylated wood depend on the retention of grafted/polymerised furfuryl alcohol (PFA) in the wood. At high modification levels (high retention of PFA) the enhancement of a wide variety of properties are achieved: an exceptional hardness increase, exceptional resistance to microbial decay and insect attack, high resistance to chemical degradation, increase in MOR & MOE, and high dimensional stability. At lower modification levels many property enhancements also occur, however to slightly lower extent. Notable are resistance to microbial decay and insect attack, increase in MOR & MOE, and relatively high dimensional stability.
M Westin, S Lande, M Schneider


Durability of pine modified by 9 different methods
2004 - IRG/WP 04-40288
The decay resistance was studied for pine modified by nine methods of wood modification: 1) Acetylation, 2) Treatment with methylated melamine resin (MMF), 3) Acetylation followed by post-treatment with MMF-resin, 4) Thermal modification, 5) Furfurylation, 6) Maleoylation (using water solution of MG or ethanol solution of maleic anhydride), 7) Succinylation, 8) NMA-modification and 9) modification with reactive linseed oil derivative (UZA), Wood blocks of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) sapwood were modified in pilot plants. Methods 1-5 were performed by the authors at Chalmers University of Technology or at BFH in Hamburg. Methods 5-9 were part of a European research project (the Chemowood project, FAIR-CT97-3187) and therefore each of these modifications was performed by the project participant responsible for the method. For laboratory testing in TMCs (modified European standard ENV 807) and pure basidiomycete culture bioassays, smaller test specimens were cut from the modified wood blocks. Most of the modification methods were applied on test specimens for marine field testing (EN 275) and some methods to produce mini-stakes for field tests in five Swedish fields. Some modification methods result in modified wood with poor durability, whereas other methods (acetylation, furfurylation and MMF-treatment) seem to provide excellent resistance to microbial decay.
M Westin, A O Rapp, T Nilsson


An in-ground natural durability field test of Australian timbers and exotic reference species. Part 2: Progress report after approximately 13 years' exposure
1983 - IRG/WP 1189
The condition of heartwood specimens of Australian and exotic timber species after approximately 13 years' in-ground exposure is given. Four of the 5 test sites have a termite hazard in addition to the hazard from a range of decay fungi. Values for specimen life are given only where all replicates of a timber species have become unserviceable. Results give evidence leading to doubt about the accuracy of the tentative durability ratings previously ascribed to at least some of the species under test.
J D Thornton, G C Johnson, I W Saunders


Durability of different heat treated materials from industrial processes in ground contact
2005 - IRG/WP 05-40312
In this study the durability of heat treated wood originating from four different European industrial heat treatment processes in ground contact was examined. The manufacturers of heat treated material were: PLATO Hout B.V./Netherlands, Thermo Wood/Finland, New Option Wood/France and Menz Holz/Germany where Oil-Heat treated Wood (OHT) is produced. All heat treated materials showed significantly increased durability against decay in ground contact compared to untreated Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), independent from the different heat treatment processes. After four years of field testing, heat treated material appears to be not suitable for in ground contact application, since long service life is required. In analogy to the classification of natural durability (EN 350-1, 1994), durability classes in the range from 2 (durable) to 4 (slightly durable) were achieved by the different heat treated materials. This stands in contrast to statements of suppliers, who promote their material as suitable for in ground applications.
C R Welzbacher, A O Rapp


The biological natural durability of timber in ground contact
1994 - IRG/WP 94-20051
The BRE ground contact field trials for the determination of the biological natural durability of different timber species have recently been reviewed. The data obtained from these trials have been used to appraise the different ways in which natural durability may be expressed. It is concluded that the use of the mean as a method of assigning the timber to one of five durability classes may be acceptable where general recommendations are required, for instance in association with the use of wood preservatives to enhance durability, but that the median provides a better indication in this context. Where a specifier requires more detailed information on timber performance, the mean (or median) is inappropriate and a system of percentile values would be more informative.
G A Smith, R J Orsler


Effect of felling time related to lunar calendar on the durability of wood and bamboo -Fungal degradation during above ground exposure test for 2 years- (Preliminary report)
2005 - IRG/WP 05-20311
Current study was carried out to know whether the felling time of trees and bamboos based on lunar calendar affects natural durability of felled wood-bamboo or not. Each of one sugi (Cryptomeria japonica) tree of 28 years old and one Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys heterocycla) of around 3 years old was cut 12 times between February and December in 2003. Six sets of sugi tree and bamboo were felled in a day during “Hassen” period and the other 6 sets of them were also felled in a nearby non-“Hassen” day. There is a belief that “Hassen” should be avoided to perform destructive works such as cutting trees. “Hassen” lasting 12 days based on lunar calendar appears 6 times every year. After felling sample trees and bamboos, these specimens were subject to outdoor exposure at above ground level for 2 years. Properties of specimens such as moisture contents, mould and fungal resistance were examined periodically for 2 years. There was no clear difference in the degree of mould growth on the surface between specimens felled in a “Hassen” day and those felled in a non-“Hassen” day in the same month. The felling seasons, however, influenced the growth of mould on the surface of wood and bamboo clearly, which has been traditionally known in many cases. Fungal degradation evaluated by visual observation and the depth of pin penetration using Pilodyn during 2 years exposure was not affected by not only “Hassen” or non-“Hassen” also seasons when tree and bamboo felled.
K Yamamoto, S Uesugi, K Kawakami


Natural durability of wood in ground contact - A correlation between field and laboratory tests
1985 - IRG/WP 2182
A field test is being carried out to evaluate the natural durability of 20 hardwoods. The resistance to decay and termite attack was evaluated in accelerated laboratory tests. The results of the field test after 6 years and 8 months indicate that there is not necessarily agreement between results from laboratory and field tests. It is pointed out that apart from the artificiality of the laboratory tests, a possible cause of the discrepancies can be the different performance of the same wood species in different test sites.
M S Cavalcante, G A C Lopez, R G Montagna, M E S Fosco Mucci


Natural durability of European wood species for exterior use above ground
2003 - IRG/WP 03-10499
The main interest in using more timber for exterior constructions is to protect the environment, where wood is considered an environmentally friendly material. However, chemicals for wood protection are getting more and more restricted, consequently, the focus on the natural durability of wood is increased. Good, well-documented data on the durability of wood species in ground contact exist, which form the basis of the standard EN 350-2:1995. Yet, we have, however, no useful documentation for the natural durability of wood, when used outdoors above ground. The study is large-scale field trials, including more than 30 species, where the objective is to define and document the natural durability of European wood species when used outdoors above ground. The idea of the test set-up is to simulate different application situations of wood to recommend individual wood species for specific purposes – fit to purpose. Two basically different test set-ups are used: 1. Panels in close-to-practice applications: Horizontally oriented with and without covering. Vertically north turning and vertically south turning oriented with and without covering as well as 45 degrees south turning oriented without covering. 2. Lap-joints in standardised field exposures: The set-up is according to the CEN-standard ENV 12037: Wood Preservative – Field Test Method for determining the relative protective effectiveness of a wood preservative exposed out of ground contact – Horizontal lap-joint method. The paper presents the results of the appearance, the moisture fluctuation, mould growth and wood decay after 3 years field trial.
B Lindegaard, N Morsing


An in-ground natural durability field test of Australian timbers and exotic reference species. Part 5: Extensive data from a site where both decay and termites are active. Results from a full-replicated set of heartwood specimens from each of ten myrtaceous hardwoods after 18, 19 and 20 years' exposure - A discussion paper
1988 - IRG/WP 2324
Extensive data are presented on the decay situation, the termite situation and the decay-termite associations; all gathered from a fully-replicated set of heartwood specimens of 10 hardwood timbers after 18, 19 and 20 years' exposure in the ground at a single test site, i.e. a semi-arid steppe site. Sixteen tables are presented in addition to the one table providing the rating data; the latter representation of specimen condition being essentially all the data normally being recorded from field tests, whether these be of natural durability or preservative treated specimens. The authors give this "extra" data to show the type of information obtainable as a result of applying both mycological and entomological expertise to field assessments. Instead of discussing these results. the authors wish to generate some discussion by asking questions such as - is some of all of this information of value? - What additional/alternative information would interested scientists wish to see with respect to the most durable timbers in a test such as that examined in this report?
J D Thornton, G C Johnson, J W Creffield


Worldwide in-ground stake test of acetylated composite boards
1997 - IRG/WP 97-40088
Acetylated wood composite stakes are being tested in ground contact (graveyard test) in seven fields around the world. Three types of acetylated wood composites were prepared: spruce fiberboard in Sweden, aspen fiberboard in Madison and rubber wood particle board in Indonesia. Two levels of acetylation were used, a high level of ~20% acetyl content and a low level of 10% acetyl content. Control boards of unmodified wood fiber/particle were also included. Stakes for the in-ground testing were taken from the boards and the size of each stake was 5x30x1.25 cm3. The stakes were put out in four continents: one test field in USA, one in New Zealand, two in Indonesia and three in Sweden. After three years of testing, results show that acetylation of wood provides excellent protection against fungal attack and minimizes swelling.
R M Rowell, B S Dawson, Y S Hadi, D D Nicholas, T Nilsson, D V Plackett, R Simonson, M Westin


Some experiences with attack of microorganisms on wooden constructions supporting foundations of houses and bridges
1997 - IRG/WP 97-10232
Reconstructions of bridges and public buildings or damage of houses during the construction of subway lines in Berlin have led to a number of inspections of wooden foundations, mostly pine or spruce piles, representing service lives of between ca. 70 and 140 years. In all cases bacterial attack was found both in wood submerged in ground water and in surface water. The extent of deterioration differs considerably in round wood and sawn wood and, furthermore, depends on the type of soil or water surrounding the wood. Within 140 years sawn scots pine sapwood can be completely destroyed by bacteria occurring below the level of the water table, whereas scots pine heartwood is remarkably durable. On sawn wood, only a small outer surface layer of the heartwood is damaged. In scots pine piles which had been installed about 110 years ago under the Reichstag building in Berlin bacterial attack produced bending strength losses of up to nearly 50% and crushing strength losses parallel to the grain of up to 55% in the outer sapwood as compared to the heartwood.
M Grinda


Attempt for developing a new method for above ground field testing of wood durability
2000 - IRG/WP 00-20199
Field testing remains the most appropriate way for evaluation of wood preservatives or natural durability of wood species. Above ground tests are designed to answer specific questions concerning the outdoor utilisation of wood. Such methods supply additional information and confirm or reject preliminary laboratory results. The European standard (ENV 12037, "lap-joint") for assessment of the durability of preservative treated wood in above ground testing has recently been proposed. It may also be used to assess the natural durability of wood. The objective of the present paper is to bear some discussion on alternative above ground test methods. The existing lap-joint field test corresponds to the real exploitation conditions of timber, but shows no decay after 2-3 years of exposure. This could be misleading when assessing the efficiency of preservatives. The method suggested acts more quickly compared to the lap-joint method with regard to mould, stain and, presumably, decay fungi. It is an accelerated above ground field test providing conditions favourable for fungal growth, but following close the fluctuations of climate. Results are shown where samples treated with preservatives for above ground use and untreated samples were exposed to the accelerated above ground test for several months. Fungal discoloration of the timber surface was classified by visual examination according to a seven-grade scale. The field test described here may be recommended for quickly testing of the natural durability of wood in above ground conditions as well as for approval of preservatives.
N Terziev, M-L Edlund


The natural durability of wood in different use classes
2003 - IRG/WP 03-10457
The natural durability of important European wood species has been tested on 3970 specimen in field trials. The wood was exposed at five test fields in Germany with different climates at each site in European hazard class 4 and 3 (with and without soil contact). Within EHC 3 it was distinguished between tree different expositions (end grain sheltered, unsheltered and with water trap). The test is now running for 3 years. The results have shown that the type of exposition (EHC 3 or EHC 4) has a strong influence on both: the decay activity and the durability determined as the quotient of decay of tested species and of decay of Scots pine sapwood. The test site had a strong effect on decay activity and time to failure, whereas the effect on durability was minor. Up to now it is not yet possible to calculate the final durability classification, but so far the field tests in soil confirmed the natural durability given in EN 350 (with the exceptions of Quercus robur and Robinia pseudoacacia, both were less durable than said in the standard). Whereas so far the above ground tests revealed a higher durability for all softwood species with coloured heartwood (heartwood of Larix, Pseudotsuga and Pinus) than classified in the standard EN 350. It is obvious that the current classification of natural durability is only valid for use in soil contact. Future amendments of the standard EN 350 seem to be reasonable. It is proposed to list durability class separately for in ground and for above ground use in the future.
U Augusta, A O Rapp


The full guideline for the “double layer test method” - A field test method for determining the durability of wood out of ground
2004 - IRG/WP 04-20290
This guideline describes a test method for wood to be exposed to the weather out of ground contact. The main objective of the method is to evaluate the durability of wood in above ground exposure as shifted overlaid stakes, which form the so called double layer. The method is applicable to the testing of untreated, treated and modified wood. Initially it was developed and found to be most useful for testing of natural durability. As a simple and effective test method, it spread quite fast. Up to now more than 30 double layer tests are running in different countries of the world. The inventors of the double layer test were asked to come up with a full and precise guideline for this test methodology to enable interested scientist making use of this test method. Therefore this IRG- document was written as an instruction for those who would like to perform this test.
A O Rapp, U Augusta


Soft Rot Decay of Cengal (Neobalanocarpus heimii) Heartwood in Ground Contact in Relation to Extractive Microdistribution
2003 - IRG/WP 03-10501
The heartwood of cengal (Neobalanocarpus heimii, fam. Dipterocarpaceae) is naturally durable. A square-sawn utility pole specimen of cengal heartwood, after 30 years in ground contact, showed 10-15 mm surface decay all around the ground line position, accompanied with isolated surface termite attack at the decayed region. Light and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of the decayed regions provided evidence of wood cell wall degradation by cavity-forming soft rot fungi. In the outermost layers, where such decay was most severe and severely discolored, all tissue types were degraded. However, in regions with moderate decay, differences in tissue types were observable in the extent of cell wall degradation. The presence of relatively intact vessels and parenchyma cells among heavily degraded fibres suggested that fibres were more susceptible to decay than vessels and parenchyma. Middle lamella was the only cell wall region which remained intact in all cell types which were severely degraded. Analysis of cengal heartwood revealed high contents of extractives soluble in hot water (14.1% m/m) or methanol (20.3% m/m), lignin (31.4% m/m) and phenolic materials (23.5% m/m), while microscopic observations provided information on the microdistribution of extractive materials. Vessels, fibres and parenchyma cells (both ray and axial parenchyma) all contained extractives in their lumen, but in variable amounts. The bulk of extractives were present in the lumina of fibres and parenchyma cells, filling them partially or completely. In vessels, only a thin layer of the extractives was present coating the warty layer. Brown coloration of cell walls in the light micrographs and their electron dense appearance in the TEM micrographs suggested that cell walls were also impregnated with extractives. This feature was typical of all cell types, but the amount and distribution of extractives was variable, judging by the variations in the coloration and density of cell walls. Overall, cell wall density of vessel and parenchyma cell walls appeared to be greater than that of fibre walls. TEM observations also provided evidence that pit membranes connecting parenchyma cells were well coated and impregnated with extractives, which was also found in the narrow canals of fibre pit pairs. Fungal hyphae were present in the extractive masses localized in cell lumina, and indications were that the extractives did not completely inhibit fungal growth. The microscopic observations suggested a close correlation between extractive microdistribution and the pattern and extent of cell wall degradation. In addition to fungitoxicity, the physical constraint of the extractive material present in cengal heartwood cells is likely to have a profound effect on restricting growth and pathways for cell wall colonization by soft rot fungi, thus conferring natural wood protection. Collectively, these observations suggest that both extractive content and their microdistribution are crucial in controlling wood decay, and should be closely examined to elucidate the role of heartwood extractives in wood durability and as natural preservatives.
A P Singh, A H H Wong, Yoon Soo Kim, Seung-Gon Wi, Kwang Ho Lee


Above-Ground Durability Estimation in Australia. Results after 16 years exposure
2005 - IRG/WP 05-20314
A program of research was established in 1987 to examine the above-ground durability of a selection of timbers that are commercially significant in Australia. Test samples were assembled in an L-Joint design and placed on exposure racks in a format to replicate joinery that is exposed to the weather above ground. Both painted and unpainted material has been exposed. Test samples have been evaluated regularly over the sixteen-year exposure period, and although the trial is not yet complete, the research has highlighted and provided data on the effect of painting, the source of timber and the influence of location. Biodeterioration models are now being developed and as the exposure approaches completion, the models will be further refined using results that emerge for the more durable softwoods and hardwoods that are incorporated into the project. As data is finalised for a particular species, it is to be submitted to the national standard for timber durability as well as design for durability programs currently underway in Australia.
L P Francis, J Norton


Natural durability of Norwegian wood species for above ground applications – Project presentation and preliminary results
2006 - IRG/WP 06-10594
In Norway exterior wood structures have traditionally nearly exclusively been made of treated and untreated Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). In recent years there has been a tendency that other tree species, like various domestic hardwoods and imported species have been used in exterior above ground applications, often unfinished. For several wood species, especially hardwoods, information regarding the durability in use class 3 is lacking. The test procedures prescribed in the European standards, both laboratory and field tests, have some weaknesses regarding to natural durability testing. Hence, some new methods for accelerated above ground testing have been put forward. The main objectives of this project are to evaluate natural durability of Norwegian wood species for above ground applications, and to study various methods for assessing decay in wood. This paper presents the material and methods used in the project, and report the results from double layer tests after one year of exposure. No decay was detected, but almost all wood species were considerably discoloured. Thuja (Norw.), Thuja (Am.), Intsia and Tectona had the least amount of discolouration. The Norwegian softwood species had generally less discolouration than the Norwegian hardwood species. CCA and Cu preservative impregnated and FA modified Pinus sylvestris sapwood had more cracks than most of the untreated wood species. Moreover, some of the Picea abies qualities and Pinus sylvestris sapwood samples had substantial amounts of cracks.
P O Flæte, G Alfredsen, F G Evans


Termite resistance of Malaysian and exotic woods with plantation potential: Field evaluation
1998 - IRG/WP 98-10289
An in-ground resistance of selected Malaysian and exotic timbers to attack by a representative aggressive subterranean Coptotermes termite was evaluated as part of an on-going collaborative research between the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia and the University of Hawaii on termite control of building timbers under humid tropical conditions. A test site at FRIM, highly susceptible to the subterranean termite Coptotermes curvignathus was chosen for study. The accelarated test protocol consisted of burying small (2 x 2 x 2 cm3) wood blocks of the following timber species at 15-20 cm below-ground with the immediate environment manipulated by addition of residues from oil palm fibres and venners of decay susceptible woods and concealed with forest top soil: Casuarina equisetifolia, Azadirachta excelsa, Tectona grandis (both Malaysian-grown and Burmese material), Hevea brasiliensis, Acacia mangium, Albizia falcataria, Araucaria cunninghamii, P. sylvestris, Koompassia malaccensis and K. excelsa. After 28 days, it was found that the results of the subterranean termite resistance test are consistent with the known/expected termite resistance of these woods when compared with previous natural durability stake test records of FRIM.
A H H Wong, J K Grace, L H Kirton


Field evaluation of the above-ground susceptibility of Pinus heartwood and untreated or treated sapwood to two species of Australian subterranean termites
1996 - IRG/WP 96-10147
Plantation-grown Pinus elliottii, Pinus caribaea and Pinus radiata specimens containing heartwood and untreated or preservative-treated sapwood were exposed above ground to the subterranean termites Coptotermes acinaciformis or Mastotermes darwiniensis near Sydney (NSW), Brisbane and Townsville (Qld), and Darwin (NT), using a variety of exposure techniques. Heartwood of Pinus elliottii and Pinus caribaea was consistently less susceptible than that of Pinus radiata. The latter was similar to susceptible Araucaria cunninghamii sapwood. CCA (at 0.23% m/m Cu+Cr+As) or permethrin (at 0.024% m/m a.i.) treatment in sapwood reduced feeding on adjacent Pinus radiata heartwood, but boron (at 0.082% m/m B) did not have the same effect. CCA and permethrin treatments protected sapwood; boron did not. Limitations on unpenetrated heartwood in H2 (non-decay hazard) treatments of Pinus elliottii and Pinus caribaea are being removed from Australian Standard and State regulations.
M J Kennedy, J W Creffield, R H Eldridge, B C Peters


Field Trials with mini-stakes
2002 - IRG/WP 02-20244
In 1995 an extensive field test program with wood mini-stakes, 8 x 20 x 200 mm, was started. In these trials a large number of parameters are being evaluated, including several new wood preservatives, differently chemically modified woods and natural durability of various wood species. The test sites are three fields in Sweden for in-ground and “close to ground” testing, one subterranean termite field in Indonesia for in ground testing, and finally one fungus cellar. The results of the test program show that some chemically modified woods perform surprisingly well and actually equal to or better than CCA-impregnated wood. This was also true for wood treated with some of the new preservatives included in the program. After more than six years of testing it is clear that the in-ground test results are comparable with ordinary EN 252 results with full sized stakes, 25 x 50 x 500 mm. Mini-stake EN 252 field testing is thereby an economic alternative to ordinary EN252, if the intention is to screen many parameters with a limited amount of material and with limited field space available.
M Westin, A O Rapp, Y S Hadi, T Nilsson


Evaluation of teak sawdayst Tectona grandis L Fil as a potential source to obtain a natural wood preservative in Colombia
2004 - IRG/WP 04-30356
Plantation Teak (Tectona grandis L. Fil) has been tested as a possible source of natural wood preservatives due to the known excellent durability of old-growth teak wood. Field tests (ground proximity termite and above ground simulated decking exposures) were established in Colombia in April 2003 at two different test sites with different climates (Tropical Dry and Rain forest). Teak heartwood extracts were obtained using Soxhlet extraction with chloroform-methanol and methanol-ethanol as solvents, for two different mixtures at three different concentrations. Sapwood stakes of Patula pine (Pinus patula) and Globulos eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) were vacuum pressure impregnated with these extracts, and control stakes were impregnated with CCA Type C and ACQ Type D at two nominal retentions (1 and 4kg/m3). The test sites have been found to be very active for both decay and termites. After only 9 months exposure termite attack has been observed from four species (Nasutitermes, Heterotermes, Triangularitermes, Velocitermes), and several basidiomycetes fungi have also been isolated from the test samples (Trametes, Schisophyllum, Poria). The results show that up to 100% of the samples have been subject to fungal attack, although in most samples only superficial trace attack has occurred in the exposure period. In contrast, termite attack has been rapid, primarily on the eucalyptus samples, which are suffering substantial degradation.
A Castillo, Y Cabrera, A F Preston, R Morris


The accelerated L-joint test method for determination of the out of ground natural durability
1998 - IRG/WP 98-20146
The accelerated L-joint test incorporates a moistening device and uses a close end water trap in an open joint connection with a laminated tenon member consisting of the perishable reference wood species scots pine sapwood and beech. After one year of exposure it is possible to show a distinct identification of natural durability classes 4 and 5 against the more durable wood species. Both weight loss estimation and the isolation of decay fungi are important criteria to evaluate the durability of tested wood. Althoughthis is not a laboratory method it indicates the possibility to use out of ground durability evaluation at short term by means of accelerated exposure under practical conditions.
J Van Acker, C Brauwers, M Stevens


A new concept for the evaluation of wood durability for out of ground contact using accelerated L-joint testing
1997 - IRG/WP 97-20123
Since the wood preservation sector is developing in favour of defining exactly the utilization of wood products and preservation techniques as a function of the envisaged hazard class, more in particular the hazard classes 3 and 4 (EN 350) there is obviously a need for a test method evaluating natural durability for out of ground contact applications. Based on the L-joint test as described in the European standard EN 330 a test method is under evaluation to determine the out of ground contact durability of various temperate and tropical wood species. Major parameters in the accelerated L-joint durability test are: the open joint structure, an exposure with 10° inclination facing sout west, tenon members in a 50/50 beech - Scots pine sapwood combination and a controlled drip irrigation system in the joint corner. This new concept is independent of specific coating systems and minimizes the variability in testing due to long dry periods under certain climatic conditions.
J Van Acker, M Stevens


Tropical In-Ground Durability of Structural Sarawak Hardwoods Impregnated to High Retention with CCA-salts, CCA-oxide and FCAP after 20 Years Exposure
2005 - IRG/WP 05-30384
Statistical analysis (ANOVA) was conducted on durability (termite and decay combined) rating data collected over 20 years exposure period of over 140 species of Sarawak timbers with altogether 30,000 stake specimens, at the Forest Department’s Sibu “graveyard” stake test sites from 1977. About 20 replicated stakes were pressure-treated to refusal with 10% g/ml concentration of up to 3 CCA-salt formulations and 1 CCA-oxide product and FCAP were visually evaluated every 6 months according to the 5-point ASTM D1758 durability rating scale, and the treated durability results reported in this paper are between 5 and 20 years exposure. The analysis was confined to 7 relatively high density hardwood species that are regarded suitable for in-ground structural use (ie, basic density >600 kg/m3), and had achieved a minimum preservative retention of 16 kg/m3 (as required for CCA-salts) but up to 48 kg/m3 retention. The results revealed that the in-ground durability of treated wood decreased usually after 5 years to poor-to-moderately durable levels with CCA-salts, moderate-to-high durability with CCA-oxide, but failed with FCAP after 20 years. CCA-oxide treated hardwoods out-perform the CCA-salt treated counterparts despite their relatively similar retention and “over-treatment factor”. The non-leach-resistant FCAP is clearly unsuitable as an industrial used in-ground wood protectant.
Wang Choon Ling, A H H Wong


The natural durability of wood in different use classes - PART II
2006 - IRG/WP 06-10598
The natural durability of important European wood species has been tested on 3970 speci¬mens in field trials. The wood was exposed at five test sites in Germany with different climates, at each site in European use class 4 and 3 (with and without soil contact). Within European use class 3 three different expositions were tested: vertical with sheltered end grain, vertical unsheltered and horizontal double layer (with water trap). The test has now been running for 6 years. The results have shown that the type of exposition (use class 3 or use class 4) has a strong influence on both: the decay activity and the durability determined as the quotient of decay of tested species and Scots pine sapwood. The test site had a strong effect on decay activity and time to failure, whereas the effect on durability was lower. Up to now it has not yet been possible to calculate the final durability classification, but so far the field tests in soil have confirmed the natural durability given in EN 350 (with the exceptions of Quercus robur and Robinia pseudoacacia, both being less durable than said in the standard). Whereas so far the above ground tests have revealed a higher durability than classified in the standard EN 350 for the tested soft¬wood species with coloured heartwood (heartwood of Larix, Pseudotsuga menziesii and Pinus sylvestris). It became obvious that the current classi¬fication of natural durability is not valid for wood in different use classes. Future amend¬ments of the standard EN 350 seem to be reasonable. It is proposed that durability class shall be listed separately for in ground and for above ground use in the future.
A O Rapp, U Augusta, K Brandt


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