Wood Treatment Goes Deep

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Jeld-Wen's new preservative sinks in to prevent decay.

January 01, 2004

 

Wood treated in the conventional dip process (above) can erode or decay if chipped, dented or scratched. Wood treated with the AuraLast process, which penetrates the wood (below), does not decay or become infested with insects under the same circumstances.

Window and door manufacturer Jeld-Wen recently completed years of work with a chemical company to develop a wood treatment process that prevents wood decay and termite infestation without just skimming the surface. AuraLast, the new technology, achieves 100% penetration of active preservation ingredients into the wood parts used in the manufacture of the company’s windows and doors.

The common dip method, which treats only surface wood area, offers little protection if a window or door is scratched, dented or chipped.

With AuraLast, pressure and a vacuum force the preservative through the wood. In addition, water replaces petroleum-based solvents as the carrier for the active ingredients:

 

  • a fungicide that is stable and leach-resistant in wood.
  • a proven insecticide that repels insects, including termites.

Because the treatment is water- rather than petroleum-based, off-gassing of volatile organic compounds, which compromises indoor air quality, is reduced. “From an environmental standpoint, this system results in a huge benefit,” says Jeld-Wen technical director Ken Hart, Ph.D.

The process works like this:

1) Chemicals and water mix in a treating solution.

2) Wood is sealed in an 84-foot-long pressure vessel, and a vacuum removes air from the chamber — and, as much as possible, from the wood.

3) When the vacuum is released, 21,000 gallons of the solution are introduced to the chamber, and 150 pounds per square inch of pressure are applied until the wood absorbs no more preservative.

4) Pressure is released, the solution is drained from the chamber, and a final vacuum is applied.

The process takes approximately two hours, and up to 10,000 board feet can be treated in a single charge. The system now produces up to 500,000 board feet of treated lumber per week. After this phase, wood is transferred to a dry kiln.

Jeld-Wen treats the cut stock first and then machines the parts used to construct door and window products. The treated wood maintains its natural color and beauty and accepts paints or stains the same as untreated wood.

AuraLast is available on Jeld-Wen’s Pozzi custom collection beginning this month. The warranty on AuraLast products guarantees against wood decay and termite infestation for 20 years.

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