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    Author(s): Samuel Zelinka; Leandro Passarini; Frederick MattGrant Kirker
    Date: 2019
    Source: Forests
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Forest Products Laboratory
    PDF: Download Publication  (2.0 MB)


    Thermally modifed wood is becoming commercially available in North America for use in outdoor applications. While there have been many studies on how thermal modifcation affects the dimensional stability, water vapor sorption, and biodeterioration of wood, little is known about whether thermally modifed wood is corrosive to metal fasteners and hangers used to hold these members in place. As thermally modifed wood is used in outdoor applications, it has the potential to become wet which may lead to corrosion of embedded fasteners. Here, we examine the corrosiveness of thermally modifed ash and oak in an exposure test where stainless steel, hot-dip galvanized steel, and carbon steel nails are driven into wood and exposed to a nearly 100% relative humidity environment at 27°C for one year. The corrosion rates were compared against control specimens of untreated and preservative-treated southern pine. Stainless steel fasteners did not corrode in any specimens regardless of the treatment. The thermal modifcation increased the corrosiveness of the ash and oak, however, an oil treatment that is commonly applied by the manufacturer to the wood after the heat treatment reduced the corrosiveness. The carbon steel fasteners exhibited higher corrosion rates in the thermally modifed hardwoods than in the preservative-treated pine control. Corrosion rates of galvanized fasteners in the hardwoods were much lower than carbon steel fasteners. These data can be used to design for corrosion when building with thermally modifed wood, and highlight differences between corrosion of metals embedded in wood products.

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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.


    Zelinka, Samuel; Passarini, Leandro; Matt, Frederick; Kirker, Grant. 2019. Corrosiveness of thermally modified wood. Forests. 11(1): 50.


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    modifed wood, corrosion, stainless steel, hot-dip galvanized steel, heat treatments

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