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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

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

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

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

Distribution of boron from fused borate rods in Douglas-fir transmission poles
1996 - IRG/WP 96-30112
The diffusion of boron from fused borate rods (disodium octaborate tetrachydrate) was monitored over 42 months in CCA-treated Douglas-fir transmission poles. The boric acid equivalent was estimated by the curcumin/salicylic acid color test on increment cores removed from the poles. Moisture content of the poles was quite variable but was always above 20 percent. The percent of increment core length showing boron was also variable with time of sampling from individual poles and between poles. Diffusion of boron increased until 18 months then decreased slightly at 30 and 42 months. Boron was almost always detected downward from the treatment holes at a distance of 25 cm. Likewise, boron was usually detected laterally from the insertion hole at a distance of 7.6 cm. Movement of boron upward from the insertion holes was often nil and not exceeding 5 cm. Thus, because of the variable penetration of boron in the Douglas-fir heartwood, untreated areas are present that are susceptible to decay.
T L Highley, F Green III, W F Finney

Borate diffusion from fused borate rods in douglas-fir transmission poles
1994 - IRG/WP 94-30042
Pressure-treated utility poles have given many years of excellent service, but their lifetime is often shortened by internal decay of the untreated heartwood center, particularly in refractory species, such as Douglas-fir. This paper reports the distribution of boron from fused borate rods installed in CCA-treated Douglas-fir transmission poles. The boric acid equivalent was roughly monitored by the curcumin/salicylic acid color test on increment cores removed from poles at 6 and 18 months after installation of fused borate rods. The percent of increment core length showing boron at 18 months was 2.5 times greater than at 6 months. Boron was almost always detected downward from the treatment at a distance of 25 cm (10 inches). Movement of boron upward from treatment holes was not as good, rarely exceeding 5 cm (2 inches). The increment core length showing boron did not always correlate with moisture content but when the moisture content was greater than 40%, the total core length with boron was greater than 80%.
T L Highley, W Finney, F Green III

Potential for controlling carpenter ants in utility poles with borates
2007 - IRG/WP 07-10623
Carpenter ants (genus Camponotus) are important scavengers and predators in the ecosystems in which they occur. Because they excavate and tunnel into wood, carpenter ants are considered structural pests in many parts of North America where they overlap with human activity. The excavation of extensive galleries in wood by carpenter ants can seriously compromise the physical properties of wood in service. Wood utility poles are extensively used in North America and are often employed in areas where carpenter ants occur. In western North America several species of carpenter ant my cause damage to utility poles including Camponotus modoc Wheeler and Camponotus vicinus Mayr. A recent survey of two western Canadian utilities showed that although ant incidence can be low, the cost of pole replacement caused by ant damage is expensive if the ants are not controlled. Although many utilities currently use highly toxic chemicals to control ants, others are switching to less toxic borates as either sprays or rods to control carpenter ants. This paper discusses carpenter ant biology and behavior, a survey of two Canadian utilities and the effects of ants on utility poles, and control methods used including borate spray and rod treatments.
M Mankowski

The secondary treatment of creosoted electricity poles with fused boron rods
1988 - IRG/WP 3485
After preliminary trials selected poles were treated at the groundline with fused boron rods. Early samplings showed that movement was slow in the dry heartwood but after six years the distributions obtained indicate that the system has merit for the treatment of the heartwood of poles in service.
D J Dickinson, P I Morris, B Calver

Interim report on the use of borate rods for the in-situ treatment of joinery
1980 - IRG/WP 3159
In the U.K. in recent years, it has been recognised that there is a major need for in-situ treatment of joinery at risk from or showing the early signs of decay. Several techniques have been developed to provide such a treatment, one of which is based on the insertion of anhydrous borate glass rods. The tests in hand are long term and this report is confined to the mycological isolation data from Western Hemlock doors and as such is an interim report of current research.
D J Dickinson

Remedial ground-line treatment of CCA poles in service. Results of chemical and microbiological analyses 6 months after treatment
1986 - IRG/WP 3388
CCA-treated poles in service with incipient internal soft rot were remedially treated by inserting borate rods, brushing with a boron/glycol solution and injecting boric acid paste, copper/creosote paste or a commercial product (DFCK paste). The spread of active chemicals in the treated zone as well as the change in microflora have been studied with time. After six months chemicals had spread to most parts of the pole in the ground-line zone and the microflora had been changed - in some cases drastically. The test is still in progress. Chemical and microbiological analyses after 12, 28 and 60 months will be published at a later date.
B Henningsson, H Friis-Hansen, A Käärik, M-L Edlund

The effect of glycol additives on diffusion of boron through Douglas-fir
2000 - IRG/WP 00-30235
Boron is highly effective against a variety of fungi and insects and is able to diffuse with moisture through wood. Diffusion decreases sharply at lower moisture contents, a characteristic that limits the potential use of this material as a remedial treatment for arresting internal decay. One approach to improvi ng boron diffusion is the simultaneous addition of glycol, which is presumed to enhance boron diffusion. In this study, the potential effects of glycol addition were explored by adding glycol plus boron (Boracol 20®, Boracol 40® or BoraCare®) or Timbor® and fused boron (Impel rods®) to produce a desired boric acid equivalent in each pole. Boron movement was assessed by periodically removing increment cores for chemical analysis. All of the supplements improved the diffusion of boron through Douglas-fir wood. Timbor®, which does not contain glycol, resulted in the most even distribution of boron throughout the poles while Boracol 40® seems to have increased boron diffusion to the point of loss from the poles.
C M Freitag, R Rhatigan, J J Morrell

Borate diffusion in wood from rods and liquid product. Application to laminated beams
1988 - IRG/WP 3482
In the aim to use borate preservatives (fused rods and boracol) in fields of building construction other than external joineries, tests of diffusion of borate rods and secondary boracol, were carried out on different species of woods exposed to different moisture conditions. Tests were also applied on laminated beams very often subjected to high moisture contents and thus decay of rot fungi. Diffusion was tested in different conditions and in relation, the action of these products was tried with stains and resins for improving strength properties. Diffusion tests on several species of wood confirm the proportionality already observed between moisture content and diffusion of borates in wood for all species. In a short time, test of diffusion on laminated wood showed a good diffusion in two lamella along the glue line leading to another way of boring. There is no problems between these borate products and stains or resins.
D Dirol

Borate Redistribution in Glulam in an Above Ground Field Test
2014 - IRG/WP 14-30652
Researchers have refocused on the use of boratesin the wood protection industry in the last two decades due to their broad spectrum effectiveness against fungi and insects, and favourable environmental characteristics. This study was designed to determine borate distribution in a limited number of samples from a large field test of composites protected by a combination of coating and borate treatment by two processes.The intended application of these products was exterior components of buildings with considerable protection by design, but the test method was designed to be a much more severe exposure. A variety of structural composites had been machined into ɣ-joint test samples, then borate-treated by two methods: a surface-applied penetrating process, and a dip treatment with borate/glycol plus insertion of copper/borate rods.After application of the coating the test samples had been installed in a long-term above-ground outdoor weathering trial at FPInnovations’ Maple Ridge, British Columbia test site. After seven years of exposure, selected glulam beams of black spruce, white spruce, and Douglas-fir samples were destructively sampled and analyzed for borate retention and penetration, with results compared to unexposed material.Results showed that borateshad migrated from the surface of exposed samples to inside the wood, as deep as 50 mm, and in many samples were present in concentrations that would be sufficient to prevent fungal decay.
P I Morris, A Temiz, J Ingram

Potential for migration of boron from fused boron rods used as internal remedial treatments of utility poles
2014 - IRG/WP 14-50301
The distribution of boron in Douglas-fir utility poles and in the surrounding soil was assessed over a 54 month period following application of fused boron rods. Boron levels in the wood never reached the levels that might be predicted if diffusion were to produce a uniform chemical distribution, nor did levels in the soil suggest that boron was becoming more concentrated. The results suggest the need for further studies to better delineate boron distribution in wood and to better understand the rate at which bron moves from wood and intro the surrounding soil.
M Konkler, C Freitag, C S Love, J J Morrell, J Renfroe

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

Report of meetings of remedial treatments Sub-group held in Madrid, Spain during 27-28 April 1988
1988 - IRG/WP 3502
J N R Ruddick

A new approach to the maintenance of wooden railway sleepers. (Second report)
1988 - IRG/WP 3492
The microenvironment and micro-ecology of wooden railway sleepers was investigated to assess their condition to determine the necessary treatment, repair and replacement criteria. In this report the efficacy of the secondary preservative treatment with solid boron rods is discussed and the development of an in-situ, nondestructive test method based on the creation and assessment of structural dynamic vibrations is described.
W Beauford, P I Morris, A M Brown, D J Dickinson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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