Improvement of the durability of heat-treated wood against termites
Thévenon, Marie France
Thermal modification is an attractive alternative to improve the decay durability and dimensional stability of wood. However, thermally modified wood is generally not resistant to termite attacks, limiting the field of application of such materials. One way to overcome this drawback is to combine thermal modification treatment with an additional treatment. One such treatment is the impregnation of a boron derivative associated with appropriate vinylic monomers, which takes advantage of the thermal treatment to polymerise these monomers for boron fixation. Using this strategy, we recently showed that an impregnation of borax (2 or 4% boric acid equivalent) dissolved in a 10% aqueous solution of polyglycerolmethacrylate followed by thermal treatment under nitrogen at 220°C protects wood from both termite and decay degradations, even after leaching. Additionally, wood samples treated with a 10% polyglycerolmethacrylate aqueous solution and subjected to thermal treatment at 220°C presented improved resistance to termites while avoiding boron utilization. Based on these results, we investigate the effect of impregnation with two types of vinylic monomers, which are already used in the presence of boron, followed by thermal treatments at different temperatures. We evaluate termite and decay durability of wood to evaluate if thermal modification associated with light chemical modification could be a solution for utilization of thermally modified materials in termite-infested areas.