Characterization of pacific silver fir impregnated with extractives from western redcedar
Alternative and higher value uses are needed for residual materials generated from wood products processing. Western redcedar sawdust contains an array of unique chemicals and has the potential to be used to alter the appearance, stability and durability of non-durable timbers. Here it was hypothesized that impregnation of Western redcedar heartwood extractives into Pacific silver fir would decrease shrinkage, hygroscopicity, and susceptibility to decay. Western redcedar hot water extracts were obtained from sawdust and used to pressure-treat Pacific silver fir blocks. Extractive impregnation enhanced the wood’s appearance and gave it a more cedar-like brown colour. Impregnated samples had reduced shrinkage, but were not as dimensionally stable as Western redcedar heartwood. Pacific silver fir blocks impregnated with water-soluble extractives were also highly susceptible to leaching, and leached samples had similar shrinkage values to untreated controls. In contrast, leaching had little effect on the hygroscopicity of the Western redcedar heartwood. Extractive-impregnated Pacific silver fir blocks had increased resistance to decay by two brown-rot fungi, and showed resistance similar to that of Western redcedar heartwood. However, leached blocks did not have the same decay resistance.
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