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Tests on the effectiveness of concentrated borate wood preservative
2009 - IRG/WP 09-30500
Tests were carried out to examine the toxicity of concentrated borate wood preservative to termites, fungi and mammals. The results showed that the preservative treated timber had high resistance to termite or decay and its acute oral toxicity belonged to low grade. The research shows that concentrated borate solution is an environmentally sound preservative and can be used in non-pressure treating.
Su Haitao, Zhang Yanjun, Xie Guijun, Chen Lifang, He Xuexiang

A chemical and mycological evaluation of fused borate rods and a borate/glycol solution for remedial treatment of window joinery
1983 - IRG/WP 3225
The possibility of using fused borate rods (Impel Borpatron) and a borate/glycol solution (Boracol-40) for depot impregnation of window joinery has been examined in a co-operative project between The Swedish Forest Products Research Laboratory, The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Prolignum AB. The fused Impel rod is a glassy rod composed of disodium octaborate which readily dissolves and is distributed as bore acid when introduced into moist timber. Boracol-40 is a liquid containing disodium octaborate dissolved in glycol which has an ability to disperse in timber with a moisture content below 25%. The study involved treatment of a large number of windows in service as well as chemical and biological laboratory tests on the distribution and protective effect of the preservatives. In the field study about 100 windows, selected at random in various buildings in the Stockholm and Gothenburg areas were treated in-situ.
M-L Edlund, B Henningsson, A Käärik, P-E Dickèr

Environmental safeness of 60% and 72% concentrated CCA-C solution and paste for wood treatment
2012 - IRG/WP 12-50284
In this study 30-years practical and observational experience of the present author about using of 72% concentrated CCA-C paste for preparing treating solutions and for treating wooden poles, anchor logs and cross arms has revealed that the 60% concentrated CCA-C solution is superior to the 72% concentrated CCA-C paste regarding solubility, homogeneity, cleanliness, treatability, sludge formation, problems of plant operators. Often certain percentage (1% to 2%) of 72% concentrated CCA-C paste cannot be dissolved in water and remain in solution as suspended minute particles that helps formation of sludge on treated products and at the bottom layer of reserve tanks. Therefore, 60% concentrated CCA-C solution has been found to be environmentally and economically safer than 72% concentrated CCA-C paste and has been recommended to use 50% to 60% concentrated CCA-C solution stopping using problematic 72% concentrated CCA-C paste as a source of treating solution.
A K Lahiry

Comparative response of Reticulitermes flavipes and Coptotermes formosanus to borate soil treatments
1991 - IRG/WP 1486
Eastern (Reticulitermes flavipes [Kollarl]) and Formosan (Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki) subterranean termite workers (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) were exposed to borate-treated sand in an indirect exposure tunneling assay in the laboratory. In the ten day assay period, both termite species readily penetrated sand containing 5000, 10000, or 15000 ppm (wt. of compound / wt. of sand) disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (Tim-BorÒ) or zinc borate (Firebrake ZB-FineÒ). With Reticulitermes flavipes, significant mortality (85-93%) resulted from workers tunneling through sand treated with 5000 ppm disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (higher concentrations were also effective), or 15000 ppm zinc borate. Responses of Coptotermes formosanus workers were lesser and more variable, with only concentrations of 10000 and 15000 ppm zinc borate resulting in mortality 70-89%) significantly different from that in the control groups. These results suggest that differences between these two species in tunneling behavior may reduce exposure of Coptotermes formosanus to the borate-treated sand.
J K Grace

Borate thermal treatments
1992 - IRG/WP 92-3715
Green, partially seasoned (air-dried, steam conditioned), or kiln-dried southern pine timbers were treated thermally using 15% disodiumoctaborate tetrahydrate solution. After treatment, sections were stored under non-drying conditions to allow for diffusion. Results showed that effective treatment meeting the AWPA minimum retention (0.17 B203 pcf [2.72 kg/m³] in the outer inch) and penetration (2.5-in [64-mm] or 85% of the sapwood) could be obtained only with certain combinations of seasoning, treatment, and diffusion storage. The best results in terms of both retention and penetration were obtained with material steamed and stored prior to treatment using a 10-min hot bath time. Kiln-dried timbers could not be treated effectively. The results suggest that non-conforming treatment of green or partially seasoned timbers will require higher solution concentrations, higher hot bath temperatures, and/or longer diffusion periods to meet required standards. Results also indicated that treatment of smaller stock in dimension sizes (up to 2-in [50-mm]) should be feasible.
H M Barnes, R W Landers, L H Williams

Effect of protective additives on leachability and efficacy of borate treated wood
2002 - IRG/WP 02-30290
Borate preservatives have been used extensively in many countries as an effective means for protecting wood against fungal and insect attack especially in interior environments. Under exterior conditions, borate compounds have a main disadvantage as they can be leached from treated wood as a result of their water solubility. In this study, we compared the potential of different additives for reducing the leachability of boron preservatives from treated wood. Scots pine sapwood (Pinus sylvestris) and poplar (Populus trichocarpa x deltoides) test samples were vacuum treated with 1 % BAE (Boric Acid Equivalent) disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (DOT) solutions containing various additives e.g. glycerol/glyoxal, polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVPY), a commercial resin compound and a commercial water repellent. The European Standard EN 84 was used as a leaching test for both coated and uncoated specimens. The results of chemical analysis of leachates taken at different periods showed that the use of protective additives reduces the boron leachability. The glycerol/glyoxal additive applied to treated pine sapwood showed the best performance. The percent of boron retained in uncoated pine sapwood was 26% while coated samples still retained 45% after 14 days of intense leaching. Similar tests on poplar revealed 19% and 34% for uncoated and coated samples, respectively.This represents a gain of 20 to 25% compared to pure DOT treated specimens of both wood species. Preliminary biological tests were carried out on malt agar using a miniblock technique for uncoated pine sapwood and beech, with Poria placenta and Coriolus versicolor, respectively. After six weeks of exposure to fungal attack all boron protective systems tested proved their effectiveness, as none of the test samples exhibited a mass loss exceeding 4%. The reference 1% BAE without protective additives showed an average mass loss of 15%. Finally, test data are reported of standard EN 113 testing in view of a further evaluation of the biological efficacy of combined DOT-additive treatments.
A Mohareb, J Van Acker, M Stevens

A case study on quality control on telephone poles as a cost saving tool in Tanzania
1987 - IRG/WP 3418
A sample of 28 CCA treated Eucalyptus poles from a lot of 2,000 poles awaiting delivery to the field, was studied to reveal the quality of treatment. Results showed a product of very poor quality. Average figures for penetration and retention were 8.4 mm and 2.2 kg/m³; these results are 66% and 91% below the required standards, respectively. Consequences of such results are estimated to amount to losses of billion of shillings.
K K Murira

CCA fixation experiments. Part 1
1989 - IRG/WP 3504
A method of squeezing solution from CCA treated wood that has not been dried at various times after treatment appears to be useful in following the fixation of CCA in wood. Experiments confirm that temperature governs the rate of fixation.
W S McNamara

Investigation of the fixation in wood of chromated zinc chloride and copperised chromated zinc chloride preservatives
1976 - IRG/WP 372
A biological method of evaluating the extent to which CZC and CCZC preparations are retained in wood in terms of the potential protection which they afford against destruction by Merulius lacrymans (dry rot) is given. CCZC is recommended for protection of wood under moderate leaching conditions, while the use of CZC under such conditions is not recommended.
V N Sozonova, D A Belenkov

Options for accelerated boron treatment: A practical review of alternatives
1985 - IRG/WP 3329
Boron wood preservatives are almost exclusively applied by momentary immersion and block diffusion storage. Alternative techniques are described which can be used to accelerate boron treatment. Diffusion coefficients have been derived to define the acceleration of diffusion with increasing temperature. Schedules are described for pressure impregnation of green timber, involving steam conditioning, evacuation and alternating pressure method treatment. Timber Preservation Authority penetration and retention requirements can be met in approximately 4-5 h. The optimum schedule, however, included a 12 hour holding period between steaming and preservative treatment. A method of applying boron preservatives as a vapour is described, Trimethyl borate vapour reacts with wood moisture to form boric acid. The kinetics of this reaction, however, are very fast. This limits treatment to timber dried to very low wood moisture contents.
P Vinden, T Fenton, K Nasheri

Movement of boron from fused boron rods implanted in Southern pine, Douglas fir, red oak, and white oak timbers
1995 - IRG/WP 95-30061
This paper reports the distribution of boron from fused boron rods installed into six-inch (15.2 cm) square timbers of Douglas-fir, Southern Pine, red oak and white oak exposed aboveground. The composition and size of rods was: sodium borate and sodium borate-copper oxide (8.5 x 100 mm²); sodium borate-copper, sodium borate and boric oxide-copper oxide (12 x 76 mm²). The boric acid equivalent was roughly monitored by the curcumin/salicylic acid color test and the presence of copper was detected by the chrome azurol-S reagent. One year after installation of rods, movement of boron was determined by application of curcumin dye to increment cores removed at various distances from the site of boron rod installation. A portion of a sodium borate treated Southern Pine timber was also analyzed by spraying curcumin dye on sawed longitudinal and transverse sections. At 2 years, one foot sections were removed from all timber species, sawed as above, and boron and copper detection reagent sprayed on the sawed surfaces. Movement of copper from rods in all timbers was virtually nil. Both transverse and longitudinal movement of boron from rods was greatest in Southern pine which also had the highest moisture content. Movement of boron was next best in red oak. There was little movement of boron away from the rods in white oak and Douglas-fir.
T L Highley, L Ferge

Sequential exposure of borate treated Douglas-fir to multiple Formosan subterranean termite colonies in a 40-week field test
1993 - IRG/WP 93-10006
Douglas-fir boards (ca. 74.5 g) pressure-treated with disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (DOT) retentions of 0 (controls), 0.88, 1.23, 1.60, or 2.10% (weight/weight) DOT were sequentially exposed to four active field colonies of Formosan subterranean termites, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), in an above-ground field test. Samples were placed in contact with each colony for 10 weeks, with oven-dry weight losses determined between exposures, for a total termi exposure period of 40 weeks. Feeding activity differed among termite colonies, with the control wood samples having mean weight losses of 1.3-15.1% of their initial weight during each individual 10-week termite exposure. The two lower borate retentions (0.88 and 1.23% DOT) were virtually equal efficacy, with mean wood weight losses during each individual 10-week exposure ranging from 1.2-4.6%. Feeding was negligible at the two higher borate retentions, with mean wood weight losses from termite feeding during each 10-week period ranging from 0.7-1.3% with 1.60% DOT, and 0.3-0.9% with 2.10% DOT. Total cumulative wood weight losses over the 40 week exposure were: 10.2% (0.88% DOT), 8.7% (1.23% DOT), 3.6% (1.60% DOT), and 2.4% (2.10% DOT).
J K Grace, R T Yamamoto

Diffusion of fused borate rods in top ends of poles
1989 - IRG/WP 3518
Diffusion tests of fused borate rods were carried out on extremities of sapwood poles in service. Rods were set in drills under the cone with or without addition of liquid Boracol 40. After one year of weathering, a good diffusion in the slice under the cone and even below the slice and in the cone itself was observed in Scots pine and spruce poles. The rods were still intacts and constitute, in fact, a reserve of boric acid for the future. This type of treatment would be satisfactory as secondary treatments of poles in service.
D Dirol, J P Guder

Effects of the addition of polyethylene glycol to the CCA-C preservative treatment
1985 - IRG/WP 3337
A modification of the CCA-C wood preservative system for utility poles has been investigated to see if spur penetration into the poles is assisted during climbing. Addition of polyethylene glycol to the CCA system has been shown to accomplish this purpose. This paper addresses the effects of the addition of polyethylene glycol to other physical properties germane to utility poles.
W P Trumble, E E Messina

Protection of OSB against termites by incorporation of different actives via glue line treatment
2008 - IRG/WP 08-30453
Different organic actives and zinc borate were incorporated into OSB during the manufacturing process to enhance the resistance against termites. Tests according to EN 117 revealed excellent performance of thiacloprid. Other organic actives such as permethrin might be effective when used in higher amounts. Zinc borate failed the test by far.
S Donath, P Spetmann, T Jaetsch, T Zahlmann

The Role of Coformulants in Preventing Bacterial Biotransformation of IPBC
2002 - IRG/WP 02-10436
The inhibitory effects of disodium tetraborate decahydrate and benzalkonium chloride (BAC), two common coformulants of IPBC in antisapstain treatments, on an IPBC-transforming enterobacterial isolate ‘W1’ were determined by their effect on the specific growth rate constant in vitro. The IC50s of IPBC, BAC and borate were found to be 0.46, 0.026 and 5.7 mM respectively. The IC50 of the Arch antistain product AntibluTM Select was 0.024 mM, based on its BAC content. Although their IC50’s were significantly different, it was clear that the vast majority of the bacterial toxicity of the AntibluTM Select was due to its BAC content. The degradation of 0.4 mM IPBC by the bacterium W1, as measured by the accumulation of its degradation product, iodide, in liquid culture, was completely inhibited by BAC concentrations greater than 18 μM, and the toxicity of the spent culture medium to Aspergillus niger, as measured by an antibiotic assay disc assay, was not ameliorated above this concentration. Below 18 μM, the toxicity of the spent broth was significantly reduced, and the accumulation of iodide occurred rapidly. Demonstrating the toxicity of BAC to bacteria, and its consequent inhibition of IPBC degradation in vitro, are indicative of the importance of coformulation in controlling bacteria that might otherwise cause preservative loss, and of their significance in determining the ultimate environmental fate of cobiocides.
S R Cook, D J Dickinson

Emission of trimethyl borate and methanol from radiata pine (Pinus radiata D. Don)
1995 - IRG/WP 95-30088
Sawn and kiln dried radiata pine conditioned to 3, 6, and 12% moisture content was treated with trimethyl borate (TMB). The treated wood samples were placed in mini-desiccators maintained at 20 or 40°C. The air space within the mini-desiccator was analysed for TMB and methanol. An initial period of emission of TMB and methanol was observed. This was followed by a period of gradual dissipation of both TMB and alcohol. There was an equilibrium of 2 ppm and 60 ppm respectively of TMB and methanol for 12% moisture content timber stored at 20°C. Dissipation was slower for 6% and 3% moisture content timber. Higher temperatures resulted in higher concentrations of TMB and methanol during the emission and dissipation stage.
F J Romero, P Vinden, J A Drysdale

Effect of borate on uptake and efficacy of an anti-sapstain treatment
2005 - IRG/WP 05-30380
The potential for using borates to enhance uptake and efficacy of propiconazole-based anti-sapstain chemicals was assessed on ponderosa pine sapwood wafers. Borates had no consistent effect on either net solution absorption or propiconazole distribution in the wood. Even small amounts of borate, however, markedly improved the performance of propiconazole against fungal discoloration. These results are consistent with previous tests of borate addition to other fungicides and highlight the potential for using less expensive ingredients to boost the performance of more costly biocides.
Jianju Luo, Hua Chen, J J Morrell

Preliminary evaluation of borate baits and dusts for eastern subterranean termite control
1990 - IRG/WP 1433
Borates are of potential use in the development of baiting systems for subterranean termite control. In the 15-day laboratory assays reported here, the oral toxicity of disodium octaborate tetrahydrate to Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar) was evaluated under choice and no-choice conditions. These assays suggest a range of 2500 to 5000 ppm to be applicable in developing baits, and that concentrations greater than 5000 ppm may deter feeding. Laboratory assays with borate dusts (disodium octaborate tetrahydrate, zinc borate, and a fine-grain zinc borate) are also reported. In a toxic variation of mark-release methodology, these materials are passed among the test group by grooming foragers exposed to the dust. In these assays, 10% of the test group was exposed to the borate dust, then released placed in contact with unexposed workers in a simulation of a field release. Zinc borate treatment elicited the greatest mortality (99-100%), although disodium octaborate tetrahydrate also elicited mortality significantly greater than that in the control groups. These results suggest that less soluble borates may be more efficient dust toxicants, and that capture and dust-treatment of a portion of the foraging termite population could elicit high mortality among termites contacting the treated individuals after their release back into the colony.
J K Grace, A Abdallay, J M Sisson

The Chemical and Biological Properties of Polymeric Betaine
2009 - IRG/WP 09-30512
Didecyl polyoxyethyl ammonium borate (DPAB), also known as Polymeric Betaine, was developed as a co-biocide for chromium-free copper based wood preservatives in Europe in the 1980’s. DPAB as a wood preservative has been reported previously. This paper summarizes the chemical, physical, and biological properties of DPAB.
H Härtner, S Schmitt, Futong Cui, H M Barnes

Performance if internal remedial treatments to arrest fungal attack in poles and large timbers
2018 - IRG/WP 18-40834
Internal remedial treatments have been used to arrest internal fungal attack in utility poles and other large timbers. Water diffusible systems and volatile fumigants have both been used for this purpose. While both work, it is important to understand the performance attributes of each system. This paper reviews the literature on both systems and makes recommendations for future research.
J J Morrell

Treating Eucalyptus tereticornis wood with boron: Optimizing treatment conditions
2005 - IRG/WP 05-40309
Even though Eucalyptus tereticornis wood is suitable for small timber purposes, being non-durable, it needs to be treated with preservative chemicals. As it is a heavy, hard and difficult to treat species, the possibility of using diffusible boron compounds was investigated. The present study explored the effect of impregnation conditions such as treatment schedule, concentration of treatment solution and the moisture content of wood on the achievement of desired dry salt retention (DSR) of the preservative in the treated wood by conducting a commercial scale trial. The study revealed that wood density and moisture content adversely affected the boron impregnation. It was clear that even E. tereticornis wood in green condition could be effectively boron impregnated using appropriate treatment schedule. Only long duration treatment schedules were found to yield the desired DSR levels. A solution concentration of 8% boric acid equivalent (BAE) was found to be required. Application of an initial vacuum of 760 mm Hg (- 85 kPa) for 15 minutes followed by a pressure of 1300 kPa for a minimum period of 60 minutes and a final vacuum of 760 mm Hg(- 85 kPa) for 5 minutes was found to be an appropriate treatment schedule.
T K Dhamodaran, R Gnanaharan

Leachability of borate-modified oriented strandboard: A comparison of zinc and calcium borate
2002 - IRG/WP 02-40232
The leachability of boron in zinc and calcium borate-modified oriented strandboard (OSB) was investigated in this study. The leaching experiments were conducted by exposing edge-sealed OSB samples under running water for 8, 24, 72, and 216 hours. The results were compared with those from the unleached controls. Boron leaching of the modified OSB occurred upon the initial water exposure, and the leaching rate decreased as the leaching time increased. Borate type, initial BAE level, wood species, and sample thickness swelling significantly influenced the leachability. There was no consistent effect of polyethylene glycol (PEG) on zinc borate leaching. Calcium borate with a smaller particle size helped reduce its leachability. The glueline washing due to thickness swelling of the test samples under water and decomposition of the borate to form less water-soluble boric acid are thought to be two possible causes for the observed leaching. The relationship between assayed BAE and leaching time followed a decaying exponential function for zinc borate OSB and a Harris decaying power function for calcium borate OSB. The material constants of the regression models allow comparing leachability of the modified OSB for various wood species. A unified leaching method for treated wood composite materials is needed.
S Lee, Q Wu

Ten year field test with a copper-borate ground line treatment for poles
1993 - IRG/WP 93-30017
A wood preservative paste consisting of borax and copper naphthenate has been tested to determine its efficiency in protecting wood from decay fungi and insects. The paste was applied to polyethylene-backed wraps that were fastened to the below-ground portions of unseasoned southern pine pole stubs. After 4 years of exposure in Mississippi, the untreated control stubs were completely deteriorated. The below-grade portions of the treated stubs remained sound after nearly 6 years of exposure due to movement of copper and diffusion of the borate throughout the cross section. Borate and copper also moved vertically in the stubs and was present in sufficient amounts to protect sections of the stubs as high as 3 feet above grade. After 9 years of exposure, the below-grade portions of the treated stubs had limited areas of decay and no termite damage; the majority of the cross section remained sound. Wood analysis indicated that concentrations of borate in the sound areas were about 1/10 the estimated toxic threshold. A visual examination and push test indicated that the treated stubs continued to be protected at groundline after 10 years of exposure. It is hypothesized that the continued protection of the below-grade portions of the stubs against both decay fungi and subterranean termites is the result of copper-borate complexes that have formed in the wood.
T L Amburgey, M H Freeman

A Preliminary Report on the Properties of Engineered Wood Composite Panels Treated with Copper Naphthenate
2005 - IRG/WP 05-40294
This paper reports on our preliminary investigation of the properties of randomly oriented strandboard which had waterborne or powdered copper naphthenate (CuN) incorporated into the board during manufacture. When compared to zinc borate-treated controls (ZnB), the mechanical properties of strandboard (MOR, MOE, work-to-maximum load, internal bond strength) were not adversely affected by treatment with either form of copper naphthenate. In general, values for mechanical properties followed the trend untreated controls > waterborne CuN = powdered CuN > ZnB. Water absorption and dimensional properties followed a similar trend. This preliminary study suggests that CuN is a viable alternative treatment for engineered wood composites.
J W Kirkpatrick, H M Barnes

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