Bio-Durability and Engineering Characteristics of Heat-Treated Poplar Wood
Research subject and fields:
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of brown rot fungus Coniophora puteana activity on physical and mechanical properties as well as biological resistance of heat-treated poplar wood. Two poplar wood species (Populus deltoids and Populus nigra) were heat-treated by thermo-wood (Thermo-D) method. Control and heat-treated specimens were exposed to brown rot fungus C. puteana for 16 weeks. Physical and mechanical characteristics of specimens including density, compression strength parallel to the grain and impact strength were evaluated before and after exposure to fungus. Mass loss of specimens caused by fungal activity (MLF) was also calculated. In addition, the effect of thermal modification on laccase production by C. puteana was assayed. The highest mass loss due to fungal deterioration was observed in control specimens, coinciding with the highest substrate-enzyme interactions and constant decrease in detectable laccase levels. According to the results, thermal modification can be used effectively to protect poplar wood against brown rot fungus attack.