Evaluating less-used timber species for marine construction

J. R. Williams, G. S. Sawyer, Simon Cragg, J. D. Icely, J. Simm, M. Meaden, L. M. S. Borges, Graham Paul Malyon

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Naturally durable species of timber are used as an alternative to preservative-treated timber for marine structures, but many species have not been evaluated for their potential for use in this environment. EN 275 evaluates marine borer resistance and specifies a 5-year test period: too long a period for screening tests to be economically viable. Furthermore, the test does not evaluate abrasion resistance. Novel fast-track screening methods were employed in this study to evaluate the marine borer and abrasion resistance of eighteen lesser used timber species. Comparative resistance was assessed by comparing the feeding rates of marine borers and abrasion resistance observed in candidate species against greenheart and ekki which were used as benchmark species. A number of lesser used species, originating from South America and West Africa, performed better than the benchmark species in laboratory tests and over an eighteen month exposure period in the sea. A number of species also performed comparatively well in abrasion trials although resistance to abrasion does not necessarily correlate with resistance to attack by marine borers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-148
Number of pages15
JournalProceedings of the ICE - Construction Materials
Issue number4
Early online date10 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


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