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Title: Strength loss in decayed wood

Author: Ibach, Rebecca E.; Lebow, Patricia K.;

Date: 2014

Source: In: the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology, 2014; pp. 368-371.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Wood is a durable engineering material when used in an appropriate manner, but it is susceptible to biological decay when a log, sawn product, or final product is not stored, handled, or designed properly. Even before the biological decay of wood becomes visually apparent, the decay can cause the wood to become structurally unsound. The progression of decay to that critical state depends heavily on temperature and moisture conditions. As a preventative measure, wood preservatives are chemical treatments applied to wood to protect less-durable wood species from decay. To ensure that these treatments are effective in providing protection, the wood preservation industry typically uses a suite of standard test methods to evaluate the efficacy of wood preservatives to combat wood decay microorganisms. The two standardization agencies in the United States are the American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) and the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM).

Keywords: biodegradation, cellulose, enzyme, fungal ecology, fungi, hemicellulose, lignin, lignin-degrading fungi, strength of materials, wood anatomy, wood degraadation, wood engineering design, wood products, wood properties

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Ibach, Rebecca E.; Lebow, Patricia K. 2014. Strength loss in decayed wood. In: the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology, 2014; pp. 368-371.


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