Use of Eucalyptus grandis clones treated with a water repellent to improve the dimensional stability of utility poles
Wood is a common construction material used in most environments. However, its sensibility to abiotic agents, in particular those that affect the dimensional stability, limits the materials durability and decreases its properties. In this work, the efficiency of a paraffin-emulsion-based product as a water repellent, combined with the selection of Eucalyptus grandis clones with a low cracking index, was tested for its use in utility poles in order to improve the woods dimensional stability. Four selected Eucalyptus grandis clones were treated with the product mixed with Chromated Copper Arsenate - the most commonly used wood protector - in a single stage by the Bethell method at two retention levels. The dimensional stability of the treated samples was studied through the determination of anti-shrink efficiency. Test samples were also exposed to accelerated weathering processes for 200 h, and later analyzed by SEM microscopy. Results showed a significant improvement in the dimensional stability of treated wood when compared to samples without the water repellent, with variable efficacy depending on the clone used. Despite the weathering process slightly affected the appearance of the wood surface, the product is suitable for exterior use.