IRG Documents Database and Compendium

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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

A note on testing the efficacy of wood preservatives above ground
1995 - IRG/WP 95-20078
A number of test methods have been used to evaluate the performance of wood preservatives in above ground situations. These have included EN 113 tests following natural exposure weathering (NEWT), L-joint or T-joint tests, lap-joint tests, and decking tests. A new test referred to as the A-frame test has been developed and is under evaluation. This is based on a sandwich-type test in which a thin (3.5 mm) sample is exposed outdoors between two untreated samples on a rack or A-frame. The advantages and disadvantages of these types of tests are discussed in a short note.
G R Williams, J A Drysdale, R F Fox

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

Comparison of rates of wood decay from four different field test protocols following 4-5 years exposure at a site in New Zealand
2011 - IRG/WP 11-30565
The rate of decay of Pinus radiata was evaluated using four different field test protocols at a site near New Plymouth, New Zealand. The average Scheffer index was 86 over the five year period of testing. The field tests were an in-ground stake test (AWPA Std E7-01) and three above ground tests – lap-joint (AWPA Std E16-98), decking (AWPC protocol) and ground proximity tests (AWPA Std E18-06) Two wood preservatives were used, ACQ and an experimental formulation containing the azole propiconazole. Each preservative was tested at three retentions, a full retention or rate and then ½ and ¼ this retention. All trials included untreated Pinus radiata control samples. The most graphic differences among tests were observed in untreated samples. The in-ground stake test displayed the greatest initial rate of decay with untreated stakes failing after 2 years. However the most reliable early indicator of decay was observed in the decking test where samples were laid on untreated bearers. In a parallel decking test where samples were laid on treated bearers they remained sound for 3 years then declined rapidly in years 4 and 5. Based on untreated and preservative treated Pinus radiata the results in the present study indicate a ranking for most rapid to least rapid for above ground protocols of: decking test on untreated wood > ground proximity > lap-joint = decking on treated wood.
P Lobb, K Day, A Siraa

Variation in moisture content in field trials according to use class 3.2 conditions
2016 - IRG/WP 16-20580
Different test methods to determine the durability of wood in use class 3 (EN 335:2013) are available. Fungal degradation of wood requires liquid water. Different Standards (EN 335-1:2006; DIN 68 800:2011) specify the risk for decay with moisture content (mc) of above 20%. EN 335 (2013) does not specify moisture content but rather defined limited wetting conditions (use class 3.1) or prolonged wetting conditions (use class 3.2). However, in literature moisture content of approx. 30% (SCHMIDT 2005; HUCKFELD 2005) is mentioned as minimum requirement for attack. Earlier studies have shown, that moisture measurement based on electrical resistance of wood resulted in satisfying accuracy for MC between 15-50%. (Brischke et al 2008; Gellerich 2012, Meyer et al 2014). This paper reports on moisture measurement based on electrical resistance of native wood species as well as thermally modified and furfurylated pine in different moisture conditions according to use class 3.2 (EN 335:2014). The used test designs were the so named block test, rail test and decking test. For the evaluation of results, the number of days with mc above 20, 25, 30 and 35% was calculated. The results are evaluated with regard to wood species, mc and test design. All test designs resulted in moisture conditions above 25% for a longer period of time of native wood species in a measurement depth of approx. 20mm. Modified samples showed constantly lower moisture content than native species. However, over the test period of 24 months, the wood species displayed higher impact on moisture content than test design.
S Bollmus, A Gellerich, H Militz

Programme section 2, Test methodology and assessment
1997 - IRG/WP 97-20126
IRG Secretariat

Progress report on co-operative research project on L-joint testing
1983 - IRG/WP 2192
A F Bravery, D J Dickinson, M Fougerousse

A comparison of soft rot, white rot and brown rot in CCA, CCP, CCF, CCB, TCMTB and benzalkonium chloride treated Pinus radiata IUFRO stakes, after 9-15 years exposure at five test sites in New Zealand
1991 - IRG/WP 1485
The aim of this study was to determine if decay type varies significantly between five field trial test sites of different soil type, aspect and climate in 9-15 year old, replicate CCA, CCF, CCP. CCB, TCMTB and AAC treated IUFRO stakes. A visual on-site assessment of decay type on every test stake was made and observations confirmed by microscopical examination. Regression analyses were used to determine significant differences of percentage frequency of occurrence of each rot type between sites and preservatives. Large differences in percentage frequency of occurrence of rot type were evident between sites. One site was dominated by brown rot (85%) and two were dominated by soft rot (99 and 91%). The fourth site had intermediate proportions of brown rot (40%) and soft rot (71%) but had the second highest occurrence of white rot (32%) (highest = 37%; lowest = 11%). The fifth site was distinct in that a large proportion of stakes (69%) had both well established brown rot and soft rot. Stakes at the other four sites tended to have only one rot type. Some highly significant preservative effects were also found. Possible causes of these differences are discussed in terms of inter-site soil type, climate and other differences.
R N Wakeling

Collaborative soft rot tests. Names and addresses of collaborators
1973 - IRG/WP 231
IRG Secretariat

A suggested method to test the toxicity of wood preservatives towards the house longhorn beetle
1977 - IRG/WP 275
This method was developed in the Institute for Wood Technology in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia and is used to get quick information on the toxicity of wood preservatives against house longhorn beetle (Hylotrupes bajulus). The method can be used for superficially treated or deeply impregnated wood blocks, and by using small or normal size test material it can be used as a laboratory or field test, and also for accelerated infestation of test material out of ground contact. The paper is given to the International Research Group on Wood Preservation as a suggested method which could possibly be used as a standard. Only the laboratory test method is described.
N Vidovic

IRG/COIPM INTERNATIONAL MARINE TEST - to determine the effect of timber substrate on the effectiveness of water-borne salt preservatives in sea-water. Progress Report 2: Report of treatment and installation in Australia
1978 - IRG/WP 440
The purpose of this test and the procedures to be followed have been fully set out in documents distributed by the International Research Group on Wood Preservation and numbered IRG/WP/414 and IRG/WP/420. The prescriptions set out in these two documents have been closely followed.
J Beesley

Field test evaluation of preservatives and treatment methods for fence posts
1985 - IRG/WP 3347
This work presents the field test results after fifteen years exposure of Eucalyptus saligna fence posts treated with six different preservatives and five treatment methods. All the combinations with oil-borne preservatives presented the best results and among the waterborne preservatives, the fence posts treated by immersion method were with the lowest performance in the field test.
G A C Lopez, E S Lepage

A rapid field bioassay technique with subterranean termites
1983 - IRG/WP 1188
Details are summarised of a field procedure which is designed to ensure continuous exposure to a replenishing termite biomass. After pre-baiting to determine the presence and identification of a termite hazard, test specimens (35 x 35 x 250 mm³) are installed vertically in the ground adjacent to and in contact with bait specimens of the same dimensions and interconnected by susceptible feeder strip.
C D Howick, J W Creffield

Utilization of curcumin for detection of presence of boron in wood
1982 - IRG/WP 3191
It has been shown that curcumin is not a reliable reagent for detecting boron in wood that has been attacked by fungi
M-L Edlund

Performance of treated fence posts after 6 years in five test plots in the State of Sao Paulo - Brazil
1976 - IRG/WP 376
Fence posts treated with creosote, pentachlorophenol and creosote/ pentachlorophenol mixtures showed good performance after 6 years of exposure in five test plots located in the State of Sao Paulo - Brazil. Good results were also achieved with copper sulphate/sodium arsenate and copper sulphate/potassium dichromate mixtures. Fungi and termites were the main destroying agents found attacking the posts.
M S Cavalcante

How to Document the Performance of Super-Critical Treated Wood in above Ground Situations?
2005 - IRG/WP 05-20316
The paper presents practical experiences from the preparation of a new preservative treated wood product for introduction to the market. The product in question is Superwood™, which is treated with organic biocides using CO2 in a supercritical state as a solvent. The question is how to evaluate the performance of a new product such as Superwood™ in order to get an acceptance on the market and fulfil the formal requirements. In the European Union countries, the EN 599-1 is the standard that needs to be complied when approving a new product for the market, but it only focuses on the toxic limit against representative decay fungi according to EN 113. However, decay test, above ground and other forms of field tests are optional, this is not in line with the traditional test philosophy in the Scandinavian countries. The open question is to which extent treatment to the level of the toxic threshold value also ensures a long service life and expected performance of the treated commodity. Superwood™ is evaluated using a strategy, in which basic laboratory tests are done to get the toxic value (according to EN 599-1) and in addition a number of field tests are done including accelerated testing in the tropics. These tests are focussed on the evaluation of the performance criteria such as durability and service life and maintenance requirements. These questions must be answered by the producer without having a full record of performance test for their new products. A short status on the test performed on super-critical treated wood (Superwood™) is presented. Based on a comparison between field test in Scandinavia and in the tropical Malaysia a service life of more than 25 years for a specific supercritical treated product is estimated. It is stated that the existing European standardisation system is insufficient when it comes to service life prediction. A number of important questions need to be addressed by the European standardisation system as soon as possible because the market and the public opinion change quickly due to environmental concern.
N Morsing, A H H Wong, F Imsgard, O Henriksen

Influence of different fixation and ageing procedures on the leaching behaviour of copper from selected wood preservatives in laboratory trials
2003 - IRG/WP 03-20264
The paper focuses on the role of different parameters, such as fixation, sample size, wood species, and leaching in internationally standardized ageing procedures for wood preservatives from Europe, Japan and the United States. The leaching protocols used were EN 84, JIS K 1571 and AWPA E11 protocols. The wood species were Scots pine, Sugi and Southern Yellow Pine respectively. Three types of commercially important copper-based wood preservatives were used as model formulations, namely copper/copper-HDO, ammoniacal copper/quat and CCA. The most important factors determining the extent of copper leaching in the different lab trials were the sample size (volume/surface ratio) and the fixation conditions prior to leaching. On the other hand, the wood species and the leaching protocol itself were found to have only minor influence on the copper leaching rate in the test methods included in this study.
J Habicht, D Häntzschel, J Wittenzellner

Developments in the protection of wood and wood-based products
1980 - IRG/WP 340
Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the field of wood protection. This current review highlights how modern techniques have provided greater insight into the biological and physical processes affecting the durability of wood and wood-based products. Emphasis is also given to developments in preservative testing methodology and to the encouraging changes towards both the correct use of timber and the improvement of Standards and Codes of Practice. A final section, on recent technical developments in wood preservation, considers subjects ranging from an evaluation of new specific biocides to methods of increasing the permeability of refractory timber species.
J M Baker

IRG Working Group II. Co-operative leaching test (letter to collaborators)
1974 - IRG/WP 240
J W W Morgan

Testing of wood preservatives against marine borers (Part 1). Method of testing wood preservatives against marine borers (Part 2)
1971 - IRG/WP 37
P C Trussell, C C Walden

IRG/COIPM INTERNATIONAL MARINE TEST - to determine the effect of timber substrate on the effectiveness of water-borne salt preservatives in sea-water. 2nd Interim Report
1981 - IRG/WP 477
Three reference wood species - Alstonia scholaris, Fagus sylvatica and Pinus sylvestris, untreated and treated with 3%, 6% and 10% CCA and CCB solutions were supplied to all participants for submergence at local sites. Regular examination of samples is being carried out - 6 months, 12 months and then annually for 7 years.
R A Eaton

Protocol for evaluation and approving new wood preservative
1985 - IRG/WP 2159
M E Hedley, J A Butcher

The proposal for the method of testing the phytotoxic effect of wood preservatives
2000 - IRG/WP 00-50163
Four methods of testing the phytotoxic effect of wood preservatives are proposed as the unified test by: - direct application of the preservatives to the test plants by spraying; - direct application of the preservative to the soil substrate; - indication plants growing in the vicinity of treated wood; - seed germination rate on the treated substrate.
J Wazny, P Witomski

International collaborative laboratory comparison of two wood preservatives against subterranean termites: Third update and first report
1996 - IRG/WP 96-10174
At the 24th annual meeting of IRG in Orlando, USA, in May 1993 an international subterranean termite laboratory bioassay to compare the various preferred termite protocols used by IRG termitologists was initiated. The author was nominated to co-ordinate this comparative laboratory evaluation of two wood preservatives, copper-chrome-arsenic (CCA) and copper naphthenate (Cu-Na) against the subterranean termites used as test termites in Australia, France, Japan, Thailand, United Kingdom and the Unites States of America. Solutions of these two wood preservatives were prepared and impregnated into Pinus radiata wood blocks to obtain loading of 0.0, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0 and 4.0 kg/m³ respectively. All preservative treatments were carried out at the Division of Forestry and Forest Products in Melbourne. The treated specimens were dispatched to the participating researchers who subjected these specimens to attack by their test termite species, and have now returned the specimens to Melbourne. This paper reports the amount of wood consumed and the mean mass loss (%) on both treated and untreated wood blocks by the termites in the various laboratory bioassays.
J R J French

Comparison of Different Methods for Assessing the Performance of Preservatives in the BAM Fungus Cellar Test
1998 - IRG/WP 98-20149
The fungus cellar test is a common means to get reliable data on the long term performance of treated wood in soil contact. A constantly high humidity and a suitable of water holding capacity for a range of micro-organisms provide high decay rates in untreated wood and produce intensive microbial pressures on wood treated with biocides. Presently a range of biocides are under test in the BAM fungus cellar and the results will be presented for the following types of biocides: Tebuconazole in combination with copper and boron (5 years fungus cellar), quats with copper and boron (5 years fungus cellar) and Cu-organic compound combined with copper and boron (3 years fungus cellar). Figures will be shown on the development of the Modulus of Elasticity (MOE) over the years and on an assessment of the stakes according to EN 252.
I Stephan, M Grinda, D Rudolph

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