Banner for LabNotes
From Lab Notes
Contact Information
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


You are here: FPL Home  / Information Products & Services  / Publications

Requested Product


Source: Wood and Fiber Science, 41(3), 2009, pp. 220-228 ; 2009

Author(s): Chen, George C.

Publication Year: 2009  View PDF »

Category: Journal Articles
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4707-1A

Abstract: The aim of this study was to investigate safer, more inexpensive chemicals derived from sodium silicate that can be used to protect wood against fungal degradation. Desiccant and surfactant properties of sodium silicate-derived products have been used since the early 19th century and may find application for wood decay protection. In our study, wood was impregnated with 19.5% sodium silicate and acidified with 2.5% phosphoric acid for 2 da to produce polysilicic acid. After 2-wk daily water leaching, leached specimens had 0.2% weight loss by a brown-rot fungus, Gloeophyllum trabeum, and weight losses of 3.4 - 5.2% by a white-rot fungus, Trametes versicolor. The control had 32.2 and 30.2% weight losses by G. trabeum and T. versicolor, respectively. Energy-dispersive X-ray analysis showed that polysilicic acid deposited mainly in the cell lumens. Exposure at 90% RH showed that polysilicic acid-treated loblolly pine or sweet gum that had been water-leached with 22 - 34% chemical retention absorbed more moisture than untreated wood. This indicated that decay resistance of polysilicic acid-treated wood is caused by a different mechanism than desiccation. One possible mechanism may be attributed to direct disruption of permeability of fungal cell membranes by the low-molecular-weight polysilicic acid.

Keywords: Sweetgum, brown rot, adsorption, absorption, leaching, phosphoric acid, wood preservation, wood biodegradation, wood-decaying fungi, antifungal agents, wood deterioration, fungicides, loblolly pine, white rot, Gloeophyllum trabeum, Trametes versicolor, lumens, polysilicic acid, sodium silicate, treated wood, preservatives, resistance to decay, decay fungi, wood decay, impregnation, biocides

File size: 670 kb(s)

Date posted: 08/19/2009

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 30752

Additional items that might interest you
View the video celebrating FPL's 100 years of public service in 2010, from the producers of the Greatest Good....view

Research Highlights from FPL....view

Termite Eradication: A search for the Holy Grail.... view

Moisture Management in Residential Construction Series videos...view

Wood Floor Systems in Residential Construction Series videos....view
- FPL's Mission and Strategic Plan -

FPL's mission is to identify and conduct innovative wood and fiber utilization research that contributes to conservation and productivity of the forest resource, thereby sustaining forests, the economy, and quality of life. ... ..more »

- FPL Research Emphasis Areas -
Advanced Composites

As an integral part of the FPL mission, we improve the long-term sustainability of our Nation's forests by creating valuable composite products from biobased materials ... ..more »

Advanced Structures

The FPL has been in the forefront of wood-frame housing research since 1910 and has long been recognized as a world leader in such housing-related areas as engineered wood ... ..more »

Forest Biorefinery

We all know the compelling reasons that the United States needs to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Historically, the greatest increases in energy demand have been for transportation fuels ... ..more »


A leader in wood products research for over a century, the FPL is positioning itself to become the lead Federal research facility for the application of nanotechnology in forest products ... more »

Woody Biomass Utilization

Forests in the United States contain a substantial amount of small-diameter, overstocked, and underutilized material.FPL research projects are exploring the potential of the small-diameter ... ..more »