Tree Frog Forestry News

New process for preserving lumber could offer advantages over pressure treating

By Georgia Institute of Technology
February 13, 2020
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Pressure treating—which involves putting lumber inside a pressurized watertight tank and forcing chemicals into the boards—has been used for more than a century to help stave off the fungus that causes wood rot in wet environments. Now researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new method that could one day replace conventional pressure treating as a way to make lumber not only fungal-resistant but also nearly impervious to water—and more thermally insulating. The new method,  jointly sponsored by the Department of Defense, the Gulf Research Program, and the Westendorf Undergraduate Research Fund, involves applying a protective coating of metal oxide that is only a few atoms thick throughout the entire cellular structure of the wood.

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