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Double protection for wood SURFASAM


Within the framework of the "CRAFT" programme for the development of technological programmes for small and medium-sized companies, the European Union have recently approved a new proposal from CIDEMCO in the field of protection treatment for wood: "Innovative green wood treatment to achieve Risk 4 protection (SURFASAM)". The main aim of this project is the development of a new, non-toxic protection treatment.

In this project those involved in R+D are commissioned by business associations with undertaking technological research work.

The consortium for this project is made up of 6 business associations from the timber sector: Organisation Comérciale des Bois Francais (OCDBF) from France, the Estonian Forest Industries Association (EFIA), Lietuvos Mediena (LM) from Lithuania, Arbio ab – skogsindustrierna (ARBIO) from Sweden, Asociata Producatoriloc de Stratificate din Lemn din Romania (APSL) from Rumania and the Western European Institute for Wood Preservation (WEI) in Belgium.

The Basque Centre CIDEMCO is one of the two technological R & D performers of the project and is playing a significant role in the achievement of the targeted technological objectives. The polytechnic institute or INP at Toulouse is leading the project which involves more than ten enterprises.

The SURFASAM project focuses on providing the timber industry with wood treatment that protects, is healthy, safe and efficient for the thorough protection of wood against biological degrading agents by means of a “green chemical process” which can be employed by small and medium enterprises and which is risk free. The focus of SURFASAM is, in fact, an initiative aimed at research into and innovation of products and processes related to wood protection which substitute treatments involving biocides that are currently used. The technology to be employed consists of a thorough chemical treatment as well as a surface coating – thus the “double protection” concept. With this project, the treatment will target risk 4 class of woods. The item of wood or board is in contact with the ground or with fresh water and exposed to humidity which is constantly greater than 20%. There is a constant risk of rotting and attack by termites. Typical items in this class are posts, pillars, stake fencing, enclosures, mooring posts in fresh water, railway sleepers, handrails with wooden supports, etc.

Classes of risk is a concept defined by norms in order to try to evaluate the risk of attack by xylophageous agents, as a function of the location where the wood is to be installed. The European Committee for Standards and Norms (CEN) has identified 4 classes of risk that are differentiated on the basis of the humidity to which the wood is subjected during its various conditions of use. The greater the risk, the greater the need to increase the natural resistance of the wood with treatment. The classes of risk mainly depend on the degree of humidity that the wood can achieve in its useful life (less than 18%; sometimes greater than 20%; frequently greater than 20%; or permanently greater then 20%). Other factors used to evaluate classes of risk are whether the wood is in contact with the ground, with fresh water or with seawater or if it is exposed to the elements.

The development of SURFASAM will, moreover, enable the use of a new scientific basis for controlling European Directives and for reducing chemical compounds which are toxic to humans, animals and for the environment.

Garazi Andonegi | alfa
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