Monday, February 17, 2020

ALD Process For Preserving Lumber Could Offer Advantages Over Pressure Treating

[Georgia Institute of Technology News] Pressure treating – which involves putting lumber inside a pressurized watertight tank and forcing chemicals into the boards – has been used for more than a century to help stave off the fungus that causes wood rot in wet environments.



Now researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new method that could one day replace conventional pressure treating as a way to make lumber not only fungal-resistant but also nearly impervious to water – and more thermally insulating.

The new method, which was reported February 13 in the journal Langmuir (see below) and jointly sponsored by the Department of Defense, the Gulf Research Program, and the Westendorf Undergraduate Research Fund, involves applying a protective coating of metal oxide that is only a few atoms thick throughout the entire cellular structure of the wood.

This process, known as atomic layer deposition, is already frequently used in manufacturing microelectronics for computers and cell phones but now is being explored for new applications in commodity products such as wood. Like pressure treatments, the process is performed in an airtight chamber, but in this case the chamber is at low pressures to help the gas molecules permeate the entire wood structure.

Continue reading full article: LINK 
Publication: Shawn A. Gregory, Connor P. McGettigan, Emily K. McGuinness, David Misha Rodin, Shannon K. Yee, and Mark D. Losego, “Single-Cycle Atomic Layer Deposition (1cy-ALD) on Bulk Wood Lumber for Managing Moisture Content, Mold Growth, and Thermal Conductivity,” (Langmuir, February 2020). http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.9b03273



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