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

Title: Synchrotron based x-ray fluorescence microscopy confirms copper in the corrosion products of metals in contact with treated wood

Source: NACE CORROSION Conference & Expo Paper No. 9017. 8 p.

Author(s)Zelinka, Samuel L.; Jakes, Joseph E.; Kirker, Grant T.; Vine, David; Vogt, Stefan

Publication Year: 2017  View PDF »

Category: Conference Proceedings
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4707-1B   FPL-4716-1A   FPL-4723-3A

Abstract: Copper based waterborne wood preservatives are frequently used to extend the service life of wood products when subjected to frequent moisture exposure. While these copper based treatments protect the wood from fungal decay and insect attack, they increase the corrosion of metals embedded or in contact with the treated wood. Previous research has shown the most plausible corrosion mechanism involves the migration of copper ions from the wood treatment through the wood to the metal surface, where they are then reduced. Despite this, under almost all conditions, copper has not been detected in the corrosion products as the proposed mechanism would imply. Recently, synchrotron based X-ray fluorescence microscopy (XFM) was used to examine the wood that had been in direct contact with metal fasteners in a corrosion test. These measurements showed a copper depleted region in the wood directly adjacent to the metal fastener. Based on the size of the region and the copper concentration, the amount of copper in the corrosion products was calculated to be on the order of 500 parts per million. This low concentration explains why previous attempts to find copper in the corrosion products using scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and powder X-ray diffraction were unsuccessful. Here, we present XFM maps of corrosion products removed from corroded fasteners that had been in contact with preservative treated wood. The XFM maps of the corrosion products clearly show the presence of copper. These measurements definitively confirm the mechanism of corrosion in treated wood and give further insights into where and how the cathodic reaction takes place.

Keywords: Preservative treated wood; steel; cupric ions; corrosion mechanisms

Publication Review Process: Formally Refereed

File size: 1,024 kb(s)

Date posted: 06/07/2017

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 84823
Current FPL Scientists associated with this product (listed alphabetically)
Jakes, Joseph
Research Materials Engineer
Kirker, Grant
Research Forest Products Technologist
Zelinka, Samuel L.
Materials Research Engineer

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 »