With the increased competition from non-wood materials, the treated wood industry in North America has recognized a need to improve the performance of its products in terms of serviceability and appearance. Current standard test methods focus entirely on durability and do not take these other important consumer criteria into consideration. This project will develop and draft the necessary standard test methods.
Canadian standards for preservative treatment, the CSA O80 series, do not include any test methods and instead reference the American Wood Preservers’ Association (AWPA) standards. The AWPA has recognised a need to update their standards in the area of serviceability and has set up a task force on this issue. AWPA wants to develop guidelines for standardization of appearance decking products, test methods and performance criteria. This is particularly important at a time when promoters of substitute materials are influencing consumer expectations.
One of the most important characteristics of wood is its tendency to check due to weathering. However it can take several months or years under natural conditions for significant checking to occur and hence an accelerated, predictive testing method is urgently needed. A prototype accelerated checking machine has been developed by Dr. Phil Evans of the UBC Centre for Advanced Wood Processing. CAWP and Forintek will work with a local Canadian engineering company to develop an operational machine for running multiple samples. Decking samples with the same profiles as in the service trial will be subjected to accelerated checking. This procedure will be worked up into a draft standard method.