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Decay resistance variability of European wood species thermally modified by industrial process

Candelier K., Pignolet L., Lotte S., Guyot A., Bousseau B., Cuny E., Thévenon M.F.. 2017. Pro Ligno, 13 (2) : p. 10-20.

Thermal modification is now considered as a new ecofriendly industrial wood modification process improving mainly the material decay resistance and its dimensional stability. Most industrial thermal treatment processes use convection heat transfer which induces sometimes heterogeneous treatment temperature propagation within the oven and lead to the heterogeneity in treatment efficiency. Thus, it is common that treatment is not completely effective on several stack boards, in a same batch. The aim of this paper was to study the decay resistance variability of various European wood species thermally modified. Thermal modifications were performed around 240°C during 4h, on about 10 m3 of 27 x 152 x 2000 mm3 wood planks placed in an industrial oven having a volume of 20 m3, on the following wood species: spruce, ash, beech and poplar. All of the tests concerning the decay resistance were carried out in the laboratory using untreated beech and pine woods as reference materials. An agar block test was used to determine the resistance of thermally modified woods, leached beforehand according to EN 84 standard or not, to brown-rot and white-rot fungi, according to XP CEN/TS 15083-1. A large selection of treated wood samples was tested in order to estimate the variability of treatment efficiency. Thermal treatment increased the biological durability of all leached and un-leached modified wood samples, compared with native wood species. The treatment temperature of 240°C used in this study is sufficient to reach durability classes ''durable'' or ''very durable'' for the four wood species. However, the dispersion of weight loss values, due to the fungal attacks was very important and showed a large variability of the durability of wood which has been treated in a single batch. These results showed that there is a substantial need to develop process control and² indicator in order to insure that the quality of treated timber is properly evaluated with a view to putting this modified timber on the market under a chain of custody.

Mots-clés : bois; préservation du bois; traitement thermique; résistance aux organismes nuisibles; champignon pathogène; pinus sylvestris; fagus sylvatica; propriété physicochimique; europe

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