Radiata Pine Wood Treated with Copper Nanoparticles: Leaching Analysis and Fungal Degradation
Radiata pine is the main wood species used in the Chilean construction industry, but it must be protected due to its low natural durability. Chemical protection of wood by impregnation allows for a more efficient utilization of the forest resources by extending its useful life. The use of nanoparticles in wood protection has garnered great interest during the last decade, due to their unique physicochemical properties, different from those of larger sized materials. In this research, the impregnation of radiata pine wood with copper nanoparticles (CuNP) was studied in terms of retention, penetration, leaching, and its protective effect against wood rot fungi growth according to EN 113, AWPA A3-91, A9-18, and E11-16. Penetration analysis confirmed a uniform distribution across the wood, with total penetration in the impregnated samples with the highest concentration solution of CuNP. Retention values of the impregnated wood increased proportionally with the concentration of nanoparticles evaluated by EDXRF. Leaching analysis showed copper removal during the first hours of the test, with a constant leaching rate up to 144 h. Impregnated wood mass loss (ML) due to exposure to Gloeophyllum trabeum and Rhodonia placenta fungi were significantly reduced regardless of the CuNP concentration or fungi tested, with an ML smaller than 5% and smaller than 14% for leached samples.
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