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Wood preservatives: Field tests out of ground contact. Brief survey of principles and methodology
1976 - IRG/WP 269
This paper contains the following spots: 1.: The general need for field tests. 2.: Interests and limits of field tests in ground contact. 3.: Various methods in use for out-of-ground contact field tests. 4.: Fungal cellar tests are they an alternative to above-ground decay exposure tests? 5.: Conclusions.
M Fougerousse

Field tests out of ground contact in France: Definition of the test procedure and preliminary results after 18 months
1981 - IRG/WP 2161
M Fougerousse

In-ground performance of two formulations of chlorothalonil after five years of exposure at three test sites in Australia
1996 - IRG/WP 96-30101
Sapwood specimens of Pinus radiata D. Don and Eucalyptus regnans F. Muell. were each treated to three retentions of each of two preservative formulations (chlorothalonil in oil; chlorothalonil plus chlorpyrifos in oil) and installed in-ground at three field test sites in Australia. Specimens were treated with each formulation to achieve 3.2, 6.4 and 12.8 kg/m³ of chlorothalonil a.i. and 3.2 + 0.2, 6.4 + 0.4 and 12.8 + 0.8 kg/m³ of chlorothalonil plus chlorpyrifos a.i. For comparison, specimens of each timber species, treated to a commercial in-ground retention of a copper-chromium-arsenic (CCA) formulation, were also installed. Treated specimens (including controls) have been rated for their condition annually for attack by subterranean termites and fungal decay using a scale ranging from 4 (sound) down to 0 (failed). After five years of exposure, mean termite and decay scores for replicate test specimens at each site reveal that the performance of all three retentions of each formulation, particularly the two highest retentions, is comparable to CCA.
J W Creffield, T L Woods, N Chew

A new ground-contact wide-spectrum organic wood preservative: DNBP
1986 - IRG/WP 3358
A new organic wood preservative, which 25 years field tests have proved to be of efficiency and effectiveness comparable to CCA wood preservatives for ground-contact applications, is presented. Physical and chemical tests, supporting the long term field test results as well as indicating the characteristics of this preservative, are also presented.
W E Conradie, A Pizzi

Performance of surface-treated hardwoods and softwoods out of ground contact
1990 - IRG/WP 3592
A number of fungicides were tested as brush treatments for protection of southern pine, Douglas-fir, maple, and red oak against decay above ground. Cross-brace and L-joint test units were treated just before assembly and exposed from 3-10 years. Untreated Douglas-fir cross-brace units were not decayed at either the Mississippi or Madison, WI, site. Untreated red oak cross-brace units were not decayed at the Madison site. The two hardwood species were more difficult to protect from decay than the softwood species. Decay development in maple cross-brace units was considerably slowed by several of the treatments but none of the treatments provided complete protection from decay during the 9 or 10 years exposure in Mississippi. Most of the treatments did not reduce decay development in red oak cross-brace units. Many treatments protected pine cross-brace units. The L-joints were exposed for only 3-4 years, but appear more difficult to protect from decay than the cross-brace units.
T L Highley

Above ground testing of wood preservatives - some experiences from Sweden
1995 - IRG/WP 95-20079
Field stake tests for the evaluation of wood preservatives have been used for more than 50 years in Sweden. In the Nordic countries a system for approval of wood preservatives, which includes field test, has also been in operation for more than 25 years. This system has been described in an IRG Document by Henningson & Jermer (1988). The Nordic system is now in a process of harmonization with the European system based on CEN's hazard classes (Henningsson & Jermer, 1994). Strangely enough, field testing for approval purposes in Sweden and the Nordic countries has only been done with stakes in soil contact. In earlier days approval requirements for a preservative for above ground situations was determined on the basis of results obtained in stake tests. Subsequently the Nordic approval system accepted laboratory decay tests as an approval basis for above ground preservatives. The European Standard EN 113 or comparable methods were allowed. This means that wood preservatives for above ground use could be approved after only laboratory tests, which - as a matter of fact - was against the generally accepted testing philosophy in these countries. The absence of standardised methods for field testing of above ground preservatives, however, does not necessarily mean that such tests have not been performed in Sweden. In the following some examples of above ground testing will be given. Although these tests may not particularly have been designed for testing the efficacy of wood preservatives, they may be of interest in discussing methodology and they may be imptortant in special cases. The examples are: Test with plank pieces; Window-frame corners; Organotin degradation test; tests with piled samples; tests about the natural durability of wood panels.
B Henningsson, Ö Bergman

In ground contact field trial results of preservative treated incised and unincised spruce
1996 - IRG/WP 96-40076
Field trials of treated spruce stakes have been demonstrated that incising the stake before treatment improves the preservative uptake both for CCA and creosote. This results in a substantially extended service life for the incised stakes over the unincised stakes for preservative concentrations at commercial levels. After 24 years in ground contact the majority of incised spruce samples are sound and have provided data which indicates that the stakes treated with CCA or creosote to commercial standards could last for more than 41 years.
E D Suttie

Thirty-four year test of on-site preservative treatments to control decay in wood above ground
1993 - IRG/WP 93-30015
This research was initiated in 1958 to investigate efficacy of various preservatives and treating methods for new lumber going into exterior structures of buildings. Post-rail units (2x4 inches) constructed of Southern Pine sapwood, Douglas-fir heartwood, and mill run western hemlock were dip- or brush-treated before or after assembly. Units were trested with pentachlorophenol in various petroleum solvents or with copper napthenate in mineral spirits. Both painted and unpainted units were exposed on a test fence in Madison, WI. Most of the painted untreated pine units (controls) failed by 34 years. Surprisingly, painting completely protected the untreated Douglas-fir units from decay and afforded substantial protection to untreated hemlock. Significant decay in painted units was present only in lightly treated pine units (2-second dip after assembly or brush treated). Copper napthenate (1% copper) was markedly less effective than the penta treatments on unpainted pine and hemlock units. There was no evidence that type of oil carrier or incorporation of a water repellent improved effectiveness of treatment. Three or 15-minute dips in penta were equally effective. Penta-grease applied to unit ends only was effective.
T L Highley, T C Scheffer

Biological effectiveness of ground-contact wood preservatives as determined by field exposure stake tests
1984 - IRG/WP 3297
Field exposure tests conducted on stakes treated with different creosotes, mixtures of creosote and waxy oil as well as different CCA wood preservatives over a period of 25 years, gave the following results: The CCA preservatives provided excellent biological protection to treated stakes, especially against fungal attack. The CCA Type I, currently approved for use under South African conditions is not inferior to the CCA Type II during long-term ground-contact exposure if the active elemental contents and effective retentions are taken into consideration. The creosotes provided good protection against termite attack but showed fairly poor fungal resistance during long-term ground-contact exposure under wet conditions. The addition of waxy oil greatly improved the effectiveness of creosotes against fungal attack. The CCA preservatives proved to be a better overall ground-contact preservative compared with the creosotes.
W E Conradie, A Pizzi

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

Translation of CEN Letter to Mr R Cockcroft dated 24 November 1980
1980 - IRG/WP 2147
G Castan

Ground contact performance of wood treated by the MSU process
1990 - IRG/WP 3609
Environmental concerns have prompted a renewed interest in accelerated fixation schemes for CCA-treated wood. Results from stake tests of southern pine (Pinus sp.) treated using a conventional Bethell cycle are compared with matched stakes treated using the MSU Process. The effects of adding boric acid to the preservative formulation are also discussed. Differences among test plots are discussed.
H M Barnes, T L Amburgey, R W Landers

Long term performance of CCA preservatives in ground contact
2000 - IRG/WP 00-30223
Copper-chrome-arsenate (CCA) preservatives have been use extensively in New Zealand since the mid-1950s for a wide range of ground contact uses, radiata pine being the main species treated. They have been the subject of a comprehensive field testing programme in up to five sites in New Zealand, the earliest tests being established in 1955. Main factors affecting performance have been formulation type, test site and test specimen size. In nearly all tests where efficacy of CCA has been compared with other preservatives, CCA has been more effective in controlling decay, particularly on drier sites. In a warm and wet site (annual rainfall 2,000 mm) where soft rot and brown rot predominate, there has been very little difference in performance between CCA and other multi-salt formulations, but in a very wet site (annual rainfall >3,500 mm) CCB and CCP have out-performed CCA.
M E Hedley, D R Page, B E Patterson

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

In-ground evaluation of a copper azole wood preservative (Tanalithâ E) at a tropical Australian test site
1996 - IRG/WP 96-30100
A field trial to determine the in-ground termite and decay resistance of Pinus radiata D. Don impregnated with a copper azole formulation, TANALITHâ E, has been established at a tropical site in the Northern Territory of Australia. Four retentions of TANALITHâ E, containing 1.54, 2.08, 2.92 and 4.30 kg/m³ of Cu, are being evaluated. For comparison, Pinus radiata specimens treated to two retentions (0.56 and 1.18 kg/m³ of Cu) of the benchmark CCA preservative TANALITHâ C, have also been included in the test. Treated specimens (including controls) have been assessed for degrade by subterranean termites and fungal decay, after 4, 7, 16 and 27 months of exposure, using a scale ranging from 4 (sound) down to 0 (failed). Over the duration of the trial, specimens have been contacted by the economically important species of termites Mastotermes darwiniensis Froggatt, Coptotermes acinaciformis (Froggatt), Schedorhinotermes spp. and Heterotermes spp. After 27 months of exposure, the mean termite and decay scores for replicate test specimens indicate that the performance of TANALITH â E is comparable to CCA.
J W Creffield, J A Drysdale, N Chew

Performance of copper-based wood preservatives in above ground and ground contact tests
1994 - IRG/WP 94-30057
The relative performance of a range of copper-based wood preservatives was compared using above ground and ground contact procedures. The data, accumulated after several years' testing, show that on an equivalent active ingredient basis, differences in performance of the preservative systems tested can vary quite markedly. The contribution of co-biocides to the overall performance of these copper-based systems is discussed.
A F Preston, K J Archer, L Jin, W Metzner, D Seepe

A termite field test with diffusion treated lumber
1991 - IRG/WP 3648
Douglas fir lumber, diffusion treated with concentrated sodium octaborate solutions, was tested against Coptotermes formosanus in an above ground field test wherein the samples were not exposed to a direct leaching hazard during the test period. After 2.5 years exposure, the untreated control samples were almost completely destroyed while poorly treated controls pressure treated with chromated copper arsenate had suffered only slight termite damage. Samples diffusion treated with 25% and 30% BAE solutions of sodium octaborate and held for an eight week diffusion period were subject to severe degradation from termite attack. The test methodology, treatment parameters, results and planned follow-up studies are described.
K J Archer, D A Fowlie, A F Preston, P J Walcheski

Above-ground field tests undertaken in New Zealand
1995 - IRG/WP 95-20063
In addition to "standard" L-joints, above-ground test material exposed at the NZ FRI test site includes treated and untreated decking units, Y-joints, fence battens and weatherboards either with or without additional protection from surface coatings. The latter tests bridge the gap between "model" test assemblies, such as L-joints, and services tests. Most tests are of preservative-treated radiata pine using proprietary formulations which were approved for above ground use at the time when each test was established. Other tests are natural durability tests to determine the suitability of those species, in terms of durability and mechanical properties, for above ground use without preservative treatment. The first tests were established in 1952 and results from those and subsequent tests have been used during periodic amendments to NZ wood preservation standards and specifications. The purpose of the different tests is described as well as pertinent results from them to illustrate their value.
M E Hedley, D R Page, J B Foster, B E Patterson

BRE Experience in monitoring decay in out-of-ground exposure trials
1995 - IRG/WP 95-20077
The outdoor field trial has always been regarded as the ultimate test of performance for assessing the effectiveness of a wood preservative. For this reason, the Building Research Establishment (BRE) has invested much effort in such trials over many years. Emphasis in early trials was on ground contact tests which were the basis both for assessing the likely performance of a preservative in protecting posts and poles, and for classifying a timber's natural resistance to fungal decay. When preservation of timber in the building and construction industry assumed greater importance, the emphasis was placed on the development of out-of-ground field trials to provide data on the likely performance of exterior joinery work in buildings. For these tests, the exposure conditions provided a less severe hazard for out-of-ground timber than for wood permanently in contact with the ground. Out-of-ground trials have been running at BRE since 1967 (Orsler and Smith, 1993) initially using T-joints and L-joints and later the window joinery test rig was established to provide conditions close to those in buildings (Purslow, 1975). All the early trials were assessed only by visual assessment for decay. Later still, small L-joints with a coating (the methodology which was used as the basis for EN 330) were used for a comprehensive study to establish the pattern of colonisation by microorganisms and associated changes to the wood. It was established that the basidiomycete fungi ultimately responsible for the decay are the climax of a colonisation sequence of a range of types of fungi plus bacteria (Carey, 1980). In an attempt to give early indications of long term performance, colonisation by basidiomycetes and changes in the porosity of the wood during exposure have been used as the basis for assessing performance relative to that of a reference preservative (1.0% tri n-butyltin oxide). Hyphen joints were introduced (Orsler and Holland, 1993) for studies of preservative distribution.
J K Carey, R J Orsler

Soluble nutrient content in wood and its susceptibility to fungal discoloration and decay in above ground and ground tests
2000 - IRG/WP 00-10336
The objective of this comprehensive study was to reveal the impact of soluble nutrients in wood on its susceptibility to fungal discoloration and decay in various tests, which is important for the test methodology and standardisation. Seven tests were carried out including pure culture above and ground contact tests, above ground field test and laboratory ground contact tests. The samples containing soluble sugars and nitrogen were more susceptible to mould discoloration than those poor in nutrients. A laboratory test with the fungus Penicillium brevicompactum predicted well the moulding tendency of the samples in the consequent field test. The samples rich in nutrients showed an average of 16% of mass loss whereas samples poorer in nutrients were significantly less affected (8-9%) after 120 days of exposure in a soil rich in soft rot fungi. A pure culture test with the soft rot fungus Phialophora mutabilis confirmed the above -mentioned observation. Garden compost, rich in both soft rot fungi and bacteria, caused severe mass loss (40-48%) of the samples after 120 days of exposure, but no difference in the mass losses between the samples rich and those poor in nutrients was measured. The content of nutrients was neither related to the mass loss of samples in a soil rich in brown rot fungi, nor in a pure culture test with the brown rot fungus Postia placenta. The nutrient status of samples as well as the choice of test soil can lead to completely different results and, consequently, conclusions. The results are in favour of taking samples with approximately equal content of soluble nutrients to decrease the variability of test results, e.g., mass losses.
O M Caballero, N Terziev

Determination of the water sorption properties and preliminary results from field tests above ground of thermally modified material from industrial scale processes
2004 - IRG/WP 04-40279
In this study the differences in moisture behavior and durability above ground of heat treated wood originating from different European industrial heat treatment plants by means of the water sorption properties as well as field tests were examined. The manufacturers of heat treated material were: PLATO Hout B.V./Netherlands, Thermo Wood (Premium wood)/ Finland and Menz Holz/ Germany, where Oil-Heat treated Wood (OHT) is produced. Temporary evaluation of field tests showed a substantially improved resistance against biological attack of the thermally modified material compared to controls. The results of the laboratory tests regarding the determination of the Moisture induced Risk Index (MRI) showed a significantly reduced MRI of heat treated material compared to references. Material from the PLATO process and Oil-Heat treated material revealed significantly lower MRI values than Thermowood. Natural weathering above ground had so far no significant influence on the MRI of thermally modified specimens compared to the initial values.
C R Welzbacher; A O Rapp

Chlorothalonil: A new ground contact wood preservative
1992 - IRG/WP 92-3712
Extensive investigations have been conducted in recent years on the performance of chlorothalonil (tetrachloroisophthalonitrile) as a ground contact wood preservative. Efficacy information is presented on a soil block test with 11 Basidiomycetes, a fungus cellar evaluation, above-ground field testing against termites in Australia and Hawaii, and ground-contact field stakes installed in Florida (9 years), Hawaii (5 years), and Mississippi (7 and 8 years). In general, chlorothalonil performed better than or equally to pentachlorophenol, which was usually used as a control treatment. Wood treated with chlorothalonil formulated in an AWPA P9 Type A oil was more resistant to water leaching that pentachlorophenol in diesel/KB3 carrier.
P E Laks, T L Woods

Some Experiences with Stake Tests at BAM Test Fields and in the BAM Fungus Cellar Part 2: Comparison of Static and Dynamic Moduli of Elasticity (MOE)
2005 - IRG/WP 05-20320
In routine in-ground stake tests of wood preservatives at the BAM test field Horstwalde and in the BAM fungus cellar periodical determinations of both static moduli of elasticity (MOE) on the basis of bending tests and dynamic MOE on the basis of the vibration method were performed as a possible method for the assessment of fungal attack. As expected from other publications, the absolute values of the dynamic MOE were higher than those of the static MOE. With the equation used for the calculation of the dynamic MOE, the differences were greater with larger specimen sizes. Sufficient correlation was observed, regarding the course of both MOE types within the test period. For both types of MOE, wood moisture contents of the stakes above the fibre saturation point were a prerequisite for the comparability of results in succeeding determinations.
M Grinda, S Göller

A field method for determining the above-ground resistance of wood and wood products to attack by subterranean termite
1994 - IRG/WP 94-20035
A method for determining the above-ground resistance of wood and wood products to subterranean termites in the field is described. Termites are aggregated in 20-litre steel drums, each containing a highly susceptible timber substrate. At the centre of each drum, specimens of the test material under evaluation are sandwiched, using circular sections of wire mesh, between two layers of the substrate. The drums are connected by plastic piping to infested trees or to other drums which have previously aggregated target species of termites. Preliminary results in the use of this method are presented in a study comparing the resistance of eight untreated timber species and one species treated with a copper-chromium-arsenic (CCA) formulation to Mastotermes darwiniensis Froggatt and Coptotermes acinaciformis (Froggatt) in the Northern Territory of Australia. Advantages of this field method are discussed
J W Creffield

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