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    Author(s): Christopher G. HuntGregory T. SchuenemanSteven LacherXiping Wang; R. Sam Williams
    Date: 2015
    Source: USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, General Technical Report, FPL-GTR-239, 2015; pp. 314-320.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Forest Products Laboratory
    PDF: Download Publication  (306.67 KB)


    This study evaluated the influence of a variety of construction techniques on the performance of plywood siding and the applied paint, using both ultrasound and conventional visual inspection techniques. The impact of bottom edge contact, flashing vs. caulking board ends, priming the bottom edge, location (Wisconsin vs. Mississippi) and a gap behind the siding to facilitate drainage were tested. Test fences were constructed to provide outdoor exposure of 2 replicates of each permutation using full factorial design. Yellow poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), a decay prone wood species was used for the plywood to accelerate the results. After four years of outdoor exposure, mushrooms were observed on the surface of some boards and all were removed for lab evaluation. Extensive water staining was seen on the backs of the boards caused by water travelling upward from the bottom edge. Sound velocities were measured to determine the degree of decay. Herein we will present an analysis of the relative merits of ultrasound vs. visual inspection. We also analyze factors impacting performance, including the poor performance obtained when the bottom of a piece of wood is in contact with another surface, and the unusually poor performance of the gap behind siding. The study will conclude with recommendations for construction practices.

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Hunt, Christopher G.; Schueneman, Gregory T.; Lacher, Steven; Wang, Xiping; Williams, R. Sam. 2015. Non-destructive Analysis Reveals Effect of Installation Details on Plywood Siding Performance. USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, General Technical Report, FPL-GTR-239, 2015; pp. 314-320.


    International Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation of Wood Symposium, nondestructive testing, nondestructive evaluation, wood, wood products

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