Wood Protection and Preservation

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Wood Science and Forest Products".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2019) | Viewed by 62187

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Dear Colleagues,

Globally, the use of non-renewable resources needs to be reduced. In this respect, wood and wood-based products can play a key role as they are generally low in embodied CO2 and can be gained from sustainable forest resources. Wood has numerous advantages compared to other building materials, such as a high strength–weight ratio, good thermal insulation, easy machinability, and appealing aesthetics. However, its durability against different biological agents is limited and requires consideration when wood is exposed to moisture, and thus to favorable conditions for decay.

In highly hazardous applications, the natural durability of wood can be insufficient, and wooden elements need to be protected by design. Alternatively, wood durability can be enhanced through wood preservatives or modification systems. During recent years, several highly effective wood preservatives have been banned in different countries, as they harm human health and the environment. Innovative approaches for improving wood durability are being sought.

We encourage studies from all fields, including method development, experimental studies, monitoring approaches, and models, to contribute to this Special Issue, in order to promote knowledge about wood durability mechanisms and strategies for the protection and preservation of wooden structures and wood-based building materials.

PD Dr. Christian Brischke
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Biological durability
  • Decay Fungi
  • Wood borers
  • Wood protection by design
  • Wood preservatives
  • Chemical wood modification
  • Thermal wood modification
  • Water repellants
  • Test methods
  • Service life planning
  • Performance specification

Published Papers (20 papers)

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Editorial

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2 pages, 645 KiB  
Editorial
Wood Protection and Preservation
by Christian Brischke
Forests 2020, 11(5), 549; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11050549 - 13 May 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2606
Abstract
Wood is an advantageous building material in many respects, but it is biodegradable and therefore requires protection when used in highly hazardous applications. This Special Issue on ‘Wood Protection and Preservation’ comprises 19 papers representing a wide range of aspects related to the [...] Read more.
Wood is an advantageous building material in many respects, but it is biodegradable and therefore requires protection when used in highly hazardous applications. This Special Issue on ‘Wood Protection and Preservation’ comprises 19 papers representing a wide range of aspects related to the field and gives timely examples of research activities that can be observed around the globe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Protection and Preservation)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

10 pages, 3310 KiB  
Article
Effects of Wood Moisture Content and the Level of Acetylation on Brown Rot Decay
by Samuel L. Zelinka, Grant T. Kirker, Amy B. Bishell and Samuel V. Glass
Forests 2020, 11(3), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11030299 - 7 Mar 2020
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3205
Abstract
Acetylation is one of the most common types of wood modification and is commercially available throughout the world. Many studies have shown that acetylated wood is decay resistant at high levels of acetylation. Despite its widespread use, the mechanism by which acetylation prevents [...] Read more.
Acetylation is one of the most common types of wood modification and is commercially available throughout the world. Many studies have shown that acetylated wood is decay resistant at high levels of acetylation. Despite its widespread use, the mechanism by which acetylation prevents decay is still not fully understood. It is well known that at a given water activity, acetylation reduces the equilibrium moisture content of the wood cell wall. Furthermore, linear relationships have been found between the acetylation weight percent gain (WPG), wood moisture content, and the amount of mass loss in decay tests. This paper examines the relationships between wood moisture content and fungal growth in wood, with various levels of acetylation, by modifying the soil moisture content of standard soil block tests. The goal of the research is to determine if the reduction in fungal decay of acetylated wood is solely due to the reduction in moisture content or if there are additional antifungal effects of this chemical treatment. While a linear trend was observed between moisture content and mass loss caused by decay, it was not possible to separate out the effect of acetylation from fungal moisture generation. The data show significant deviations from previously proposed models for fungal moisture generation and suggest that these models cannot account for active moisture transport by the fungus. The study helps to advance our understanding of the role of moisture in the brown rot decay of modified wood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Protection and Preservation)
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12 pages, 1780 KiB  
Article
Tensile and Impact Bending Properties of Chemically Modified Scots Pine
by Susanne Bollmus, Cara Beeretz and Holger Militz
Forests 2020, 11(1), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11010084 - 9 Jan 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2291
Abstract
This study deals with the influence of chemical modification on elasto-mechanical properties of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). The elasto-mechanical properties examined were impact bending strength, determined by impact bending test; tensile strength; and work to maximum load in traction, determined by [...] Read more.
This study deals with the influence of chemical modification on elasto-mechanical properties of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). The elasto-mechanical properties examined were impact bending strength, determined by impact bending test; tensile strength; and work to maximum load in traction, determined by tensile tests. The modification agents used were one melamine-formaldehyde resin (MF), one low molecular weight phenol-formaldehyde resin, one higher molecular weight phenol-formaldehyde resin, and a dimethylol dihydroxyethyleneurea (DMDHEU). Special attention was paid to the influence of the solution concentration (0.5%, 5%, and 20%). With an increase in the concentration of each modification agent, the elasto-mechanical properties decreased as compared to the control specimens. Especially impact bending strength decreased greatly by modifications with the 0.5% solutions of each agent (by 37% to 47%). Modification with DMDHEU resulted in the highest overall reduction of the elasto-mechanical properties examined (up to 81% in work to maximum load in traction at 20% solution concentration). The results indicate that embrittlement is not primarily related to the degree of modification depended on used solution concentration. It is therefore assumed that molecular size and the resulting ability to penetrate into the cell wall could be crucial. The results show that, in the application of chemically modified wood, impact and tensile loads should be avoided even after treatment with low concentrations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Protection and Preservation)
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12 pages, 1296 KiB  
Article
Corrosiveness of Thermally Modified Wood
by Samuel L. Zelinka, Leandro Passarini, Frederick J. Matt and Grant T. Kirker
Forests 2020, 11(1), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11010050 - 31 Dec 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3077
Abstract
Thermally modified wood is becoming commercially available in North America for use in outdoor applications. While there have been many studies on how thermal modification affects the dimensional stability, water vapor sorption, and biodeterioration of wood, little is known about whether thermally modified [...] Read more.
Thermally modified wood is becoming commercially available in North America for use in outdoor applications. While there have been many studies on how thermal modification affects the dimensional stability, water vapor sorption, and biodeterioration of wood, little is known about whether thermally modified wood is corrosive to metal fasteners and hangers used to hold these members in place. As thermally modified wood is used in outdoor applications, it has the potential to become wet which may lead to corrosion of embedded fasteners. Here, we examine the corrosiveness of thermally modified ash and oak in an exposure test where stainless steel, hot-dip galvanized steel, and carbon steel nails are driven into wood and exposed to a nearly 100% relative humidity environment at 27 °C for one year. The corrosion rates were compared against control specimens of untreated and preservative-treated southern pine. Stainless steel fasteners did not corrode in any specimens regardless of the treatment. The thermal modification increased the corrosiveness of the ash and oak, however, an oil treatment that is commonly applied by the manufacturer to the wood after the heat treatment reduced the corrosiveness. The carbon steel fasteners exhibited higher corrosion rates in the thermally modified hardwoods than in the preservative-treated pine control. Corrosion rates of galvanized fasteners in the hardwoods were much lower than carbon steel fasteners. These data can be used to design for corrosion when building with thermally modified wood, and highlight differences between corrosion of metals embedded in wood products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Protection and Preservation)
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7 pages, 651 KiB  
Article
Effect of Concrete on the pH and Susceptibility of Treated Pine to Decay by Brown-Rot Fungi
by Darrel Nicholas, Amy Rowlen and David Milsted
Forests 2020, 11(1), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11010041 - 27 Dec 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2628
Abstract
Treated wood timbers employed in ground contact are often installed with a cement collar to firmly fix the structural wood post in place. Few prior studies have determined the effect of concrete on decay efficacy on treated wood, however. Treated wood nominal 4 [...] Read more.
Treated wood timbers employed in ground contact are often installed with a cement collar to firmly fix the structural wood post in place. Few prior studies have determined the effect of concrete on decay efficacy on treated wood, however. Treated wood nominal 4 × 4 posts were installed at four locations, with the upper ground-contact portion of each post encased in concrete, and the samples removed at various times for pH measurements. The wood alkalinity quickly increased at all four sites for the portion of the treated wood in concrete contact compared to the wood in ground contact without concrete. In laboratory decay tests employing three decay fungi, untreated wood which was first exposed or unexposed to concrete had no consistent difference in decay susceptibility. For wood treated with three different commercial copper/organic systems, cement exposure had no effect on wood treated with an amine copper azole system, while treatment with amine copper quat showed a statistically significant fungal efficacy enhancement for cement-exposed samples with both copper-tolerant fungi. Conversely, with a micronized copper azole preservative, cement exposure resulted in reduced fungal efficacy compared to treated samples which were not cement-exposed for all three decay fungi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Protection and Preservation)
11 pages, 5623 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Preservative-Treated Wooden Poles Using Drilling-Resistance Measurements
by Evgenii Sharapov, Christian Brischke and Holger Militz
Forests 2020, 11(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11010020 - 21 Dec 2019
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3691
Abstract
An IML-Resi PD-400 drilling tool with two types of spade drill bits (IML System GmbH, Wiesloch, Germany) was used to evaluate the internal conditions of 3 m wooden poles made from Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). Drilling tests were performed on poles [...] Read more.
An IML-Resi PD-400 drilling tool with two types of spade drill bits (IML System GmbH, Wiesloch, Germany) was used to evaluate the internal conditions of 3 m wooden poles made from Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). Drilling tests were performed on poles that were industrially vacuum-pressure-impregnated with a copper-based preservative (Korasit KS-M) and untreated reference poles. Both types of poles were subject to 10.5 years of in-ground exposure. Wood moisture content (MC) was measured using a resistance-type moisture meter. MC varied between 15% and 60% in the radial and axial directions in both treated and untreated poles. A higher MC was detected in the underground, top, and outer (sapwood) parts of the poles. Typical drilling-resistance (DR) profiles of poles with internal defects were analyzed. Preservative treatment had a significant influence on wood durability in the underground part of the poles. Based on DR measurements, we found that untreated wood that was in contact with soil was severely degraded by insects and wood-destroying fungi. Conversely, treated wood generally showed no reduction in DR or feeding resistance (FR). DR profiling is a potential method for the in-situ or in vitro assessment and quality monitoring of preservative treatments and wood durability. The technological benefits of using drill bits with one major cutting edge, instead of standard drill bits with center-spiked tips and two major cutting edges, were not evident. A new graphical method was applied to present DR data and their spatial distribution in the poles. Future studies should focus on the impact of preservative treatments, thermal modification, and chemical modification on the DR and FR of wood. This may further elucidate the predictive value of DR and FR for wood properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Protection and Preservation)
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9 pages, 2451 KiB  
Article
Biological Durability of Sapling-Wood Products Used for Gardening and Outdoor Decoration
by Christian Brischke, Lukas Emmerich, Dirk G.B. Nienaber and Susanne Bollmus
Forests 2019, 10(12), 1152; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10121152 - 17 Dec 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2443
Abstract
Sapling-wood products from different wood species such as willow (Salix spp. L.) and Common hazel (Corylus avellana L.) are frequently used for gardening and outdoor decoration purposes. Remaining bark is suggested to provide additional biological durability. Even for temporary outdoor use [...] Read more.
Sapling-wood products from different wood species such as willow (Salix spp. L.) and Common hazel (Corylus avellana L.) are frequently used for gardening and outdoor decoration purposes. Remaining bark is suggested to provide additional biological durability. Even for temporary outdoor use it seemed questionable that durability of juvenile sapwood can provide acceptably long service lives of horticultural products. Therefore, sapling-wood from seven European-grown wood species was submitted to laboratory and field durability tests. In field tests, specimens with and without bark were tested in comparison and submitted to differently severe exposure situations, i.e., in-ground contact, and above-ground situations with and without water trapping. All materials under test were classified ‘not durable’ independently from any potential protective effect of remaining bark, which contradicted their suitability for outdoor applications if multi-annual use is desired. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Protection and Preservation)
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16 pages, 1405 KiB  
Article
Initial Rhodonia placenta Gene Expression in Acetylated Wood: Group-Wise Upregulation of Non-Enzymatic Oxidative Wood Degradation Genes Depending on the Treatment Level
by Martina Kölle, Rebecka Ringman and Annica Pilgård
Forests 2019, 10(12), 1117; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10121117 - 7 Dec 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2757
Abstract
Acetylation has been shown to delay fungal decay, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Brown-rot fungi, such as Rhodonia placenta (Fr.) Niemelä, K.H. Larss. & Schigel, degrade wood in two steps, i.e., oxidative depolymerization followed by secretion of hydrolytic enzymes. [...] Read more.
Acetylation has been shown to delay fungal decay, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Brown-rot fungi, such as Rhodonia placenta (Fr.) Niemelä, K.H. Larss. & Schigel, degrade wood in two steps, i.e., oxidative depolymerization followed by secretion of hydrolytic enzymes. Since separating the two degradation steps has been proven challenging, a new sample design was applied to the task. The aim of this study was to compare the expression of 10 genes during the initial decay phase in wood and wood acetylated to three different weight percentage gains (WPG). The results showed that not all genes thought to play a role in initiating brown-rot decay are upregulated. Furthermore, the results indicate that R. placenta upregulates an increasing number of genes involved in the oxidative degradation phase with increasing WPG. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Protection and Preservation)
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18 pages, 2252 KiB  
Article
The Biological Durability of Thermally- and Chemically-Modified Black Pine and Poplar Wood Against Basidiomycetes and Mold Action
by Vasiliki Kamperidou
Forests 2019, 10(12), 1111; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10121111 - 5 Dec 2019
Cited by 41 | Viewed by 2571
Abstract
Wood of black pine and poplar species were subjected to thermal modification under variant conditions, while subsequently, a number of the thermally-modified black pine specimens were subjected to surface modification with organosilane solutions, and the biological resistances of the different materials were examined [...] Read more.
Wood of black pine and poplar species were subjected to thermal modification under variant conditions, while subsequently, a number of the thermally-modified black pine specimens were subjected to surface modification with organosilane solutions, and the biological resistances of the different materials were examined using laboratory agar block tests against the action of basidiomycetes and microfungi. Thermally-modified pine specimens were exposed to the brown rot fungi Coniophora puteana and Oligoporus placenta, whereas poplar wood was exposed to the white rot fungus Trametes versicolor and O. placenta. Regarding the biological durability of thermally-chemically-treated pine wood with organosilanes, it was tested against the action of C. puteana. Additionally, both of the thermally-treated wood species, as well as thermally-chemically-treated pine wood were exposed to a microfungi mixture, so that the wood treatments efficacy would be evaluated through a visual assessment of fungal growth on the specimen’s surface The thermal treatments seem to increase the biological resistance of black pine against C. puteana by 9.65–36.73% compared to unmodified wood. The most significant increase in biological durability among all the thermally-treated wood categories was recorded by O. placenta, with 28.75–68.46% lower mass losses in treated pine specimens and 31.98–64.72% in thermally-treated poplar, respectively, compared to unmodified wood. The resistance of treated poplar against T. versicolor was also found increased (13.25–46.08%), compared to control. Thermal modification affected positively the biological resistance of both species, though it did not manage to protect effectively pine and poplar wood from the microfungi action. The combination of thermal and organosilanes treatment revealed a significant improvement of the durability of pine wood compared to? control (45.68–87.83% lower mass losses against C. puteana), as well as against the microfungi action, with the presence of benzin to have a positive effect on the silanes solutions performance and protective action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Protection and Preservation)
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14 pages, 2003 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Paraffin-Thermal Modification of Beech Wood on Its Biological, Physical and Mechanical Properties
by Ladislav Reinprecht and Miroslav Repák
Forests 2019, 10(12), 1102; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10121102 - 2 Dec 2019
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2712
Abstract
The European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) wood was thermally modified in the presence of paraffin at the temperatures of 190 or 210 °C for 1, 2, 3 or 4 h. A significant increase in its resistance to the brown-rot fungus Poria placenta [...] Read more.
The European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) wood was thermally modified in the presence of paraffin at the temperatures of 190 or 210 °C for 1, 2, 3 or 4 h. A significant increase in its resistance to the brown-rot fungus Poria placenta (by 71.4%–98.4%) and the white-rot fungus Trametes versicolor (by 50.1%–99.5%) was observed as a result of all modification modes. However, an increase in the resistance of beech wood surfaces to the mold Aspergillus niger was achieved only under more severe modification regimes taking 4 h at 190 or 210 °C. Water resistance of paraffin-thermally modified beech wood improved—soaking reduced by 30.2%–35.8% and volume swelling by 26.8%–62.9% after 336 h of exposure in water. On the contrary, its mechanical properties worsened—impact bending strength decreased by 17.8%–48.3% and Brinell hardness by 2.4%–63.9%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Protection and Preservation)
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10 pages, 5493 KiB  
Article
Study of Gliding Arc Plasma Treatment for Bamboo-Culm Surface Modification
by Bin Li, Jinxing Li, Xiaojian Zhou, Jun Zhang, Taohong Li and Guanben Du
Forests 2019, 10(12), 1086; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10121086 - 1 Dec 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2987
Abstract
Plasma treatment was conducted to modify the outer- and inner-layer surfaces of bamboo in a multi-factor experiment, where the surface contact angles and surface energy were measured, followed by investigation on the surface microstructure and functional groups using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) [...] Read more.
Plasma treatment was conducted to modify the outer- and inner-layer surfaces of bamboo in a multi-factor experiment, where the surface contact angles and surface energy were measured, followed by investigation on the surface microstructure and functional groups using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), respectively. The result showed that when the power of the gliding arc plasma treatment was 1000 W while the bamboo surface was 3 cm away from the nozzle of the plasma thrower in the plasma flame, the contact angles of the outer- and inner-layer surfaces decreased, whereas the surface energy increased as a function of the treatment time. The 40 s treatment on the outer-layer surface caused the contact angle to reach 40°, and the surface energy accomplished a value of 45 J. Likewise, when the inner-layer surface was exposed for 30 s treatment, its contact angle attained a value of 15°, while the surface energy elevated to 60 J. Surface assessment with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) demonstrated etched microstructures of outer- and inner-layer surfaces of the bamboo culm after the treatment with gliding arc plasma. Moreover, the soaking test performed on the surfaces signified that 2D resin could have adhered more easily to outer- and inner-layer surfaces, which was considered a result of the greater uniformity and smoothness acquired after the treatment. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic (XPS) analysis revealed that hydrophilic groups (O-CO-N, -NO2−,-NO3−, C-O-C, C-O-H and O-CO-OH, C-O-C = O) emerged on outer- and inner-layer surfaces of bamboo culms after being treated by gliding arc plasma, which enhanced the interaction of bamboo culms with applied protective coating resins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Protection and Preservation)
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9 pages, 2178 KiB  
Article
Functionalized Surface Layer on Poplar Wood Fabricated by Fire Retardant and Thermal Densification. Part 2: Dynamic Wettability and Bonding Strength
by Demiao Chu, Jun Mu, Stavros Avramidis, Sohrab Rahimi, Shengquan Liu and Zongyuan Lai
Forests 2019, 10(11), 982; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110982 - 5 Nov 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1839
Abstract
In continuation of our former study on a novel combined treatment of nitrogen–phosphorus fire retardant and thermomechanical densification on wood, this study focuses on the dynamic wettability and the bonding strength. The contact angle was measured using the sessile drop method and the [...] Read more.
In continuation of our former study on a novel combined treatment of nitrogen–phosphorus fire retardant and thermomechanical densification on wood, this study focuses on the dynamic wettability and the bonding strength. The contact angle was measured using the sessile drop method and the surface energy was calculated according to the van Oss method. Water surface penetrating and spreading is analyzed by both the Shi and Gardner model and the droplet volume changing model. The results reveal that the combined treatment increased the surface energy, especially the acid–base component. The contact angle declined and the water droplet spread more easily on the surface. Meanwhile, the rate of relative droplet volume decreased by 32.6% because the surface layer was densified and stabilized by the combined process. Additionally, the surface possesses the lowest roughness and highest abrasion resistance on the tangential section. Thus, the bonding strength of the combined treated poplar decreased by 29.7% compared to that of untreated poplar; however, it is still 53.3% higher than that of 220 °C heat-treated wood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Protection and Preservation)
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14 pages, 4415 KiB  
Article
Functionalized Surface Layer on Poplar Wood Fabricated by Fire Retardant and Thermal Densification. Part 1: Compression Recovery and Flammability
by Demiao Chu, Jun Mu, Stavros Avramidis, Sohrab Rahimi, Shengquan Liu and Zongyuan Lai
Forests 2019, 10(11), 955; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10110955 - 26 Oct 2019
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2453
Abstract
To enhance compression stability and fire retardancy of densified wood, a new modification method i.e., combined nitrogen–phosphorus (NP) fire retardant pre-impregnation with surface thermo-mechanical densification is used to fabricate a certain thickness of functionalized surface layer on poplar. This combined treated wood is [...] Read more.
To enhance compression stability and fire retardancy of densified wood, a new modification method i.e., combined nitrogen–phosphorus (NP) fire retardant pre-impregnation with surface thermo-mechanical densification is used to fabricate a certain thickness of functionalized surface layer on poplar. This combined treated wood is investigated via vertical density profile (VDP), and the compression stability is revealed by both soaking test and cone analysis. Results demonstrate that the combined treatment hardened the surface of wood and reformed the interface combination of the NP with the wood cell wall, thus making the surface tissue more close-grained. Fire retardancy was also enhanced; the total heat release and CO generation values decreased by 21.9% and 68.4%, respectively, when compared with that of solely NP-treated wood. Moreover, surface hardness increased by 15.8%, and the recovery of surface hardness and thickness were 56.8% and 77.2% lower than that of simply densified wood. It appears that this NP-involved thermal densification could be considered as an alternative approach to enhance both the compression stability and fire resistance of wood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Protection and Preservation)
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17 pages, 2811 KiB  
Article
The Performance of Wood Decking after Five Years of Exposure: Verification of the Combined Effect of Wetting Ability and Durability
by Miha Humar, Davor Kržišnik, Boštjan Lesar and Christian Brischke
Forests 2019, 10(10), 903; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10100903 - 14 Oct 2019
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 3262
Abstract
Wood is one of the most important construction materials, and its use in building applications has increased in recent decades. In order to enable even more extensive and reliable use of wood, we need to understand the factors affecting wood’s service life. A [...] Read more.
Wood is one of the most important construction materials, and its use in building applications has increased in recent decades. In order to enable even more extensive and reliable use of wood, we need to understand the factors affecting wood’s service life. A new concept for characterizing the durability of wood-based materials and for predicting the service life of wood has recently been proposed, based on material-inherent protective properties, moisture performance, and the climate- and design-induced exposure dose of wooden structures. This approach was validated on the decking of a model house in Ljubljana that was constructed in October 2013. The decay and moisture content of decking elements were regularly monitored. In addition, the resistance dose DRd, as the product of the critical dose Dcrit, and two factors taking into account the wetting ability of wood (kwa) and its inherent durability (kinh), were determined in the laboratory. DRd correlated well with the decay rates of the decking of the model house. Furthermore, the positive effect of thermal modification and water-repellent treatments on the outdoor performance of the examined materials was evident, as well as the synergistic effects between moisture performance and inherent durability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Protection and Preservation)
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14 pages, 16302 KiB  
Article
Wood Protection through Plasma Powder Deposition—An Alternative Coating Process
by Robert Köhler, Philipp Sauerbier, Gisela Ohms, Wolfgang Viöl and Holger Militz
Forests 2019, 10(10), 898; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10100898 - 11 Oct 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3540
Abstract
In contrast to conventional coating processes such as varnishing, plasma powder deposition by means of an atmospheric pressure plasma jet on wood is not yet widely used. A key advantage of this process is that volatile organic compounds and organic solvents are avoided. [...] Read more.
In contrast to conventional coating processes such as varnishing, plasma powder deposition by means of an atmospheric pressure plasma jet on wood is not yet widely used. A key advantage of this process is that volatile organic compounds and organic solvents are avoided. In the present work, European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) and pine sapwood (Pinus sylvestris L.) were coated with polymer (polyester), metal (aluminum coated silver) or metal oxide (bismuth oxide) particles. Furthermore, a layer system consisting of polyester and metal or metal oxide was investigated. The layer thickness and topography were analyzed with a laser scanning microscope and scanning electron microscope, revealing thicknesses of 2–22 µm depending on the coating material. In general, the chemical composition of the layers was determined using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy measurements. The coatings consisting of metal and metal oxide showed a band gap and plasmon resonance in the range of 540 and 450 nm. Through this absorption, the wood may be protected against ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In the water uptake and release tests, the polyester layers exhibited a reduction of water vapor absorption after 24 h in 100% relative humidity (RH) by 53%–66%, whereas the pure metal oxide layers indicated the best desorption performance. The combination of metal oxide and polyester in the one-layer system combines the protection properties of the single coatings against water vapor and UV radiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Protection and Preservation)
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10 pages, 2493 KiB  
Article
White-Rot Fungi Control on Populus spp. Wood by Pressure Treatments with Silver Nanoparticles, Chitosan Oligomers and Propolis
by María Milagrosa Casado-Sanz, Iosody Silva-Castro, Laura Ponce-Herrero, Pablo Martín-Ramos, Jesús Martín-Gil and Luis Acuña-Rello
Forests 2019, 10(10), 885; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10100885 - 7 Oct 2019
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 3683
Abstract
There is growing interest in the development of non-toxic, natural wood preservation agents to replace conventional chemicals. In this paper, the antifungal activities of silver nanoparticles, chitosan oligomers, and propolis ethanolic extract were evaluated against white-rot fungus Trametes versicolor (L.) Lloyd, with a [...] Read more.
There is growing interest in the development of non-toxic, natural wood preservation agents to replace conventional chemicals. In this paper, the antifungal activities of silver nanoparticles, chitosan oligomers, and propolis ethanolic extract were evaluated against white-rot fungus Trametes versicolor (L.) Lloyd, with a view to protecting Populus spp. wood. In order to create a more realistic in-service type environment, the biocidal products were assessed according to EN:113 European standard, instead of using routine in vitro antimicrobial susceptibility testing methods. Wood blocks were impregnated with the aforementioned antifungal agents by the vacuum-pressure method in an autoclave, and their biodeterioration was monitored over 16 weeks. The results showed that treatments based on silver nanoparticles, at concentrations ranging from 5 to 20 ppm, presented high antifungal activity, protecting the wood from fungal attack over time, with weight losses in the range of 8.49% to 8.94% after 16 weeks, versus 24.79% weight loss in the control (untreated) samples. This was confirmed by SEM and optical microscopy images, which showed a noticeably higher cell wall degradation in control samples than in samples treated with silver nanoparticles. On the other hand, the efficacy of the treatments based on chitosan oligomers and propolis gradually decreased over time, which would be a limiting factor for their application as wood preservatives. The nanometal-based approach is thus posed as the preferred choice for the industrial treatment of poplar wood aimed at wood-based engineering products (plywood, laminated veneer lumber, cross-laminated timber, etc.). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Protection and Preservation)
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14 pages, 3067 KiB  
Article
Wood Surface Changes of Heat-Treated Cunninghamia lanceolate Following Natural Weathering
by Xinjie Cui and Junji Matsumura
Forests 2019, 10(9), 791; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090791 - 11 Sep 2019
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2389
Abstract
To quickly clarify the effect of heat treatment on weatherability of Cunninghamia lanceolate (Lamb.) Hook., we investigated the surface degradation under natural exposure. A comparison between heat-treated and untreated samples was taken based on surface color changes and structural decay at each interval. [...] Read more.
To quickly clarify the effect of heat treatment on weatherability of Cunninghamia lanceolate (Lamb.) Hook., we investigated the surface degradation under natural exposure. A comparison between heat-treated and untreated samples was taken based on surface color changes and structural decay at each interval. Over four weeks of natural exposure, multiple measurements were carried out. Results show that color change decreased in the order of 220 °C heat-treated > untreated > 190 °C heat-treated. The results also indicate that the wood surface color stability was improved via the proper temperature of thermal modification. Low vacuum scanning electron microscopy (LVSEM) results expressed that thermal modification itself had caused shrinking in the wood surface structure. From the beginning of the weathering process, the heat treatment affected the surface structural stability. After natural exposure, the degree of wood structure decay followed the pattern 220 °C heat-treated > 190 °C heat-treated > untreated. Therefore, when considering the impact on the structure, thermal modification treatment as a protective measure to prevent weathering was not an ideal approach and requires further improvement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Protection and Preservation)
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16 pages, 3341 KiB  
Article
Wetting Behavior of Alder (Alnus cordata (Loisel) Duby) Wood Surface: Effect of Thermo-Treatment and Alkyl Ketene Dimer (AKD)
by Teresa Lovaglio, Wolfgang Gindl-Altmutter, Tillmann Meints, Nicola Moretti and Luigi Todaro
Forests 2019, 10(9), 770; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10090770 - 5 Sep 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2939
Abstract
The main purpose of this study was to investigate the hydrophobic effect and chemical changes induced by thermo-treatment and alkyl ketene dimer (AKD) on the surface properties of Alder (Alnus cordata (Loisel) Duby) wood before and after an artificial weathering test. Thermal [...] Read more.
The main purpose of this study was to investigate the hydrophobic effect and chemical changes induced by thermo-treatment and alkyl ketene dimer (AKD) on the surface properties of Alder (Alnus cordata (Loisel) Duby) wood before and after an artificial weathering test. Thermal treatment was conducted at a temperature of 200 °C for 4 h in a thermo-vacuum cylinder. Then, the paper sizing agent, AKD at different concentrations of a solution of 0.1%, 0.5% and 10% was used as a potential hydrophobizing reagent for untreated and thermally treated alder wood surfaces. The contact angle measurement, ATR-FTIR analysis and colour variation were carried out for the samples. The preliminary results revealed that the contact angle values of the wood materials increased with thermal modification. However, the influence of the thermal treatment on hydrophobicity was small when compared to the substantial effect of the AKD application in this respect, and also after the artificial weathering test. The FTIR analysis supported the hypothesis that AKD could make bonds chemically stable even when using a small concentration of AKD. The findings acquired in this work provide important information for future research and the utilization of the AKD on lesser-used wood species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Protection and Preservation)
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11 pages, 3178 KiB  
Article
On the Effect of Heat Treatments on the Adhesion, Finishing and Decay Resistance of Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica D. Don) and Formosa acacia (Acacia confuse Merr.(Leguminosae))
by Chia-Wei Chang, Wei-Ling Kuo and Kun-Tsung Lu
Forests 2019, 10(7), 586; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10070586 - 13 Jul 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3562
Abstract
In Taiwan, it is important to maintain sustainable development of the forestry industry in order to raise the self-sufficiency of domestic timber. Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria D. Don and Formosa acacia (Acacia confusa Merr.(Leguminosae)) have abundant storage options and are the potential [...] Read more.
In Taiwan, it is important to maintain sustainable development of the forestry industry in order to raise the self-sufficiency of domestic timber. Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria D. Don and Formosa acacia (Acacia confusa Merr.(Leguminosae)) have abundant storage options and are the potential candidates for this purpose. Heat treatment is a new environment-friendly method used to enhance the dimensional stability and durability of wood. On treatment, a surface with new characteristics is produced because of wood component changes. Consequently, an inactivated surface and a weak boundary layer are generated, and the wettability for adhesives and coatings is reduced. Furthermore, it decreases the pH value of the wood surface, and results in delay or acceleration during the curing of adhesives. This phenomenon must be paid attention to for practical applications of heat-treated wood. Ideal heat-treated conditions of C. japonica and A. confusa woods with productive parameters such as temperature, holding time, heating rate, and thicknesses of wood were identified in our previous study. In this research work, we focus on the normal shear strength of heat-treated wood with adhesives such as urea-formaldehyde resin (UF) and polyvinyl acetate (PVAc), and the finishing performances of heat-treated wood with polyurethane (PU) and nitrocellulose lacquer (NC) coatings as well as assessing the decay-resistance of heat-treated wood. The results show that heat-treated wood had a better decay resistance than untreated wood. The mass decrease of heat-treated wood was only 1/3 or even less than the untreated wood. The normal shear strength of heat-treated wood with UF and PVAc decreased from 99% to 72% compared to the untreated wood, but the wood failure of heat-treated wood was higher than that of the untreated one. Furthermore, the adhesion and impact resistance of wood finished by PU and NC coatings showed no difference between the heat-treated wood and untreated wood. The finished heat-treated wood had a superior durability and better gloss retention and lightfastness than that of the untreated wood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Protection and Preservation)
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16 pages, 3826 KiB  
Article
Impact of Water Holding Capacity and Moisture Content of Soil Substrates on the Moisture Content of Wood in Terrestrial Microcosms
by Christian Brischke and Friedrich L. Wegener
Forests 2019, 10(6), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10060485 - 4 Jun 2019
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 5770
Abstract
Terrestrial microcosms (TMCs) are frequently used for testing the durability of wood and wood-based materials, as well as the protective effectiveness of wood preservatives. In contrary to experiments in soil ecology sciences, the experimental setup is usually rather simple. However, for service life [...] Read more.
Terrestrial microcosms (TMCs) are frequently used for testing the durability of wood and wood-based materials, as well as the protective effectiveness of wood preservatives. In contrary to experiments in soil ecology sciences, the experimental setup is usually rather simple. However, for service life prediction of wood exposed in ground, it is of imminent interest to better understand the different parameters defining the boundary conditions in TMCs. This study focused, therefore, on soil–wood–moisture interactions. Terrestrial microcosms were prepared from the same compost substrate with varying water holding capacities (WHCs) and soil moisture contents (MCsoil). Wood specimens were exposed to 48 TMCs with varying WHCs and MCsoil. The wood moisture content (MCwood) was studied as well as its distribution within the specimens. For this purpose, the compost substrate was mixed with sand and peat and its WHC was determined using two methods in comparison, i.e., the “droplet counting method” and the “cylinder sand bath method” in which the latter turned out advantageous over the other. The MCwood increased generally with rising MCsoil, but WHC was often negatively correlated with MCwood. The distance to water saturation Ssoil from which MCwood increased most intensively was found to be wood-species specific and might, therefore, require further consideration in soil-bed durability-testing and service life modelling of wood in soil contact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Protection and Preservation)
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