New surface treatment to boost hardwood components
A new surface treatment developed by the CSIRO is set to enhance the viability and desirability of hardwood components in construction, by improving bond strength when adhesives and coatings are applied.
In research funded by FWPA, the patented surface treatment aims to significantly improve strength when bonding hardwoods together using polyurethane adhesives and increase the bonding capacity of timber and clear coatings.
FWPA research and development manager Chris Lafferty describes the results as exciting.
“In practice, this treatment will deliver added consistency, stability and reliability of hardwood timber products, particularly in situations where the timber is exposed to changing conditions such as seasonal variations and in species that are notoriously difficult to laminate,” Chris says.
During the testing, the bond strength of Victorian Ash, Blackbutt, Spotted Gum, Blue Gum, and Tallow wood showed an improvement in bond strength of up to 100 percent following treatment.
The research team declined to reveal what the treatment is made of, and it is too early to say what it would cost in a commercial setting.
The final stage in the three-phase project will include further timber bond strength trials using a range of species to establish the criteria for optimum performance of the treatment on each, and the refining and development of recommendations around the methodology and equipment necessary for successful industrial application.