Weathering behaviour of Colorado (Eucalyptus camaldulensis and Eucalyptus tereticornis) and Balau (Shorea spp.)

Smit, Norman Hein (2010-03)

Thesis (MScFor (Forest and Wood Science))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Balau, a group consisting of 21 Shorea species, is widely used for outdoor application. In South Africa, Balau is one of the most popular materials used for decking. Due to the increasing scarcity of Balau, it is of economic importance to investigate the possibility of a substitute timber for decking material. One possible timber could be Colorado, a mixture containing one or more of the following: Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Eucalyptus tereticornis and their hybrids. These two species and their hybrids are extensively cultivated in countries such as Australia, India and parts of South America because of their short rotation period and easy adaptability to a wide variety of soil and climatic factors. The timber was initially utilized as raw material for the pulp and paper industry but is now gaining importance in structural uses like furniture, flooring and decking. The aim of this exploratory study was to investigate relevant material properties and to examine the natural and accelerated weathering behaviour of Colorado and Balau to predict Colorado’s suitability as decking material. It was found that Colorado had smaller vessel lumina, fewer vessels/m2 and smaller rays than Balau and had a higher density than Balau. Although both timbers had a relatively low FSP, Colorado’s FSP was 2.3 percentage points higher than Balau’s. The swelling coefficients (radial and tangential) of Colorado were slightly higher than Balau’s but Colorado’s lower swelling anisotropy can result in a lower tendency to twist in service. Colorado had a higher water soluble extractive content than Balau, which can lead to the rapid initial colour changes when the timber is exposed uncoated. The weathering performance of Colorado and Balau was investigated by exposing samples in a QUV accelerated weathering apparatus and to natural weathering at an inland and a marine location. During weathering Colorado showed a slightly higher colour change ( E*) than Balau. Balau showed a higher increase in roughness (Rz), surface checking and check formation than Colorado. Colorado showed slightly more cup than Balau, however, Balau showed much larger amounts of twisting than Colorado. No statistically significant differences were found between the hydrophobicity of the two timbers. A coating was effective in increasing the initial hydrophobicity of samples and could maintain a relatively hydrophobic surface during weathering. No statistically significant differences were found in the effect of sample cut on timber species surface wettability. Although only long term exposure studies and using substantially more samples can confirm its weathering performance, the results of this exploratory weathering study indicated that Colorado can successfully be used as a substitute decking material for Balau.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Balau, ‘n houtsoort wat ongeveer 21 Shorea-spesies verteenwoordig, word wyd in buitenshuise aanwendings benut. In Suid-Afrika is Balau een van die mees gewilde materiale wat vir dek-doeleindes gebruik word. As gevolg van die toenemende skaarsheid van Balau, is dit van ekonomiese belang om die gebruik van ‘n moontlik plaasvervangende houtsoort vir dek-materiaal te ondersoek. Colorado, ‘n mengsel van een of meer van die volgende: Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Eucalyptus tereticornis en hibriede daarvan, kan as ‘n moontlike plaasvervanger gebruik word. Hierdie twee spesies en hulle hibriede word op groot skaal in lande soos Australië, Indië en dele van Suid-Amerika gekweek vanweë hul kort rotasieperiode en goeie aanpasbaarheid by ‘n wye verskeidenheid grond- en klimaatsfaktore. Die spesies is aanvanklik as grondstof in die pulp- en papierbedryf gebruik maar word tans al hoe belangriker in strukturele aanwendings soos byv. meubels, vloer- en dek-materiaal. Die doel van hierdie verkennende studie was om relevante materiaaleienskappe te ondersoek en om die versnelde en natuurlike verweringsgedrag van Colorado en Balau vas te stel om sodoende ‘n aanduiding van die geskiktheid van Colorado as dek-materiaal te kan kry. Daar is gevind dat Colorado kleiner vat-lumina, minder vate/m2 en kleiner strale as Balau besit en dat Colorado ‘n hoër digtheid het as Balau. Alhoewel beide houtsoorte relatiewe lae veselversadigingspunte (VVP) besit, is Colorado se VVP 2.3% persentasiepunte hoër as dié van Balau. Die swellingskoëffisiente (radiaal en tangensiaal) van Colorado is effens hoër as dié van Balau, maar Colorado se laer swellingsanisotropie kan op ‘n kleiner neiging tot skeeftrek dui. Colorado het ‘n hoër wateroplosbare ekstrakstofinhoud as Balau bevat, wat tot aanvanklik vinnige kleurveranderings kan lei wanneer die hout sonder oppervlaktemiddel blootgestel word. Die verweringsgedrag van Colorado en Balau is ondersoek deur monsters aan versnelde en natuurlike verwering bloot te stel. Eersgenoemde is in ‘n QUV versnelde verweringsapparaat uitgevoer en laasgenoemde in ‘n binnelandse en ‘n mariene lokaliteit. Tydens verwering het Colorado ‘n effens hoër kleurverandering ( E*) as Balau getoon. Balau het ‘n hoër toename in rofheid (Rz), oppervlaktekrake en kraakvorming as Colorado getoon. Colorado het effens meer kromgetrek terwyl Balau meer skeefgetrek het as Colorado. Geen statisties beduidende verskille kon tussen die waterwerende eienskappe van die twee houtsoorte vasgestel word nie. ‘n Oppervlakbedekking was effektief om die aanvanklike toename in waterwerende vermoë te verhoog en gedurende verwering te kon behou. Geen statisties beduidende verskille kon tussen die invloed van snit van die monster op die oppervlaktebenatbaarheid van die houtsoorte vasgestel word nie. Alhoewel slegs langtermyn blootstellingstudies en die gebruik van beduidend veel meer monsters die verweringsgedrag kan bevestig, dui die resultate van hierdie verkennende ondersoek aan dat Colorado suksesvol as ‘n plaasvervangende dekmateriaal vir Balau gebruik kan word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/4202
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