The project

The idea for the "Durability of Wooden Components" research project arose from the combined desire of the French public authorities and of wood industry professionals to optimize today's quasi-systematic use of biocidal preservatives meant for wood products used outdoors in response to the general bad knowledge regarding proper design and use and design, and to value the natural durability of selected French timber species. The general aim of this project is to improve the life expectancy of commodities made with untreated wood and used outdoors under different conditions of exposure and weathering. The current test methods used to evaluate the durability of wood species do not very well correspond with the ways of evaluating service life of finished wooden products, therefore more work is needed to improve and refine these methods. Field tests are more time-consuming compared to laboratory tests, but they render results which more closely reflect real-life conditions. The aim of the experimental phase of the project, initiated in 2009, is to work out an experimental protocol which will make it possible to estimate, in terms of service life, the performance in a real-life situations of a range of currently used wooden commodities made of different timber species, This will involve quantifying the impact of material, climate, exposure, and design on the expected service life of selected outdoor wooden components.