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: Effects of wood moisture content and the level of acetylation on brown rot decay

Source: Forests. 11(3): 299

Author(s)Zelinka, Samuel L.; Kirker, Grant T.; Bishell, Amy B.; Glass, Samuel V

Publication Year: 2020  View PDF »

Category: Journal Articles
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4716-3A   FPL-4723-3A

Abstract: Acetylation is one of the most common types of wood modifcation and is commercially available throughout the world. Many studies have shown that acetylated wood is decay resistant at high levels of acetylation. Despite its widespread use, the mechanism by which acetylation prevents decay is still not fully understood. It is well known that at a given water activity, acetylation reduces the equilibrium moisture content of the wood cell wall. Furthermore, linear relationships have been found between the acetylation weight percent gain (WPG), wood moisture content, and the amount of mass loss in decay tests. This paper examines the relationships between wood moisture content and fungal growth in wood, with various levels of acetylation, by modifying the soil moisture content of standard soil block tests. The goal of the research is to determine if the reduction in fungal decay of acetylated wood is solely due to the reduction in moisture content or if there are additional antifungal effects of this chemical treatment. While a linear trend was observed between moisture content and mass loss caused by decay, it was not possible to separate out the effect of acetylation from fungal moisture generation. The data show signifcant deviations from previously proposed models for fungal moisture generation and suggest that these models cannot account for active moisture transport by the fungus. The study helps to advance our understanding of the role of moisture in the brown rot decay of modifed wood.

Keywords: Acetylated wood; wood modification; brown rot decay; fungal decay; soil block test; wood moisture content; soil bottle assays

Publication Review Process: Formally Refereed

File size: 3,072 kb(s)

Date posted: 03/12/2020

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 97281
Current FPL Scientists associated with this product (listed alphabetically)
Glass, Samuel V.
Research Physical Scientist
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 »