Treatment of coconut palm wood using inorganic preservatives
Freshly felled coconut wood is very much susceptible to wood boring insects, moulds and stain fungi as it has high levels of sugar, starch and moisture content throughout the trunk. The objective of this study was to develop appropriate preservative methods to protect sawn coconut palm wood from insects and other pathogens under the prevailing eco-climatic conditions in Kerala and to evaluate the effect of different preservative factors on the treatability of coconut wood. Wood samples were treated with inorganic chemicals like Copper Chrome Boron - CCB and Borax Boric Acid – BBA by diffusion and pressure treatment, of which pressure treatment performed better. Diffusion treatment of inorganic preservatives in high and medium density wood showed no significant difference in retention whereas significant difference was observed for penetration percentage. For pressure treatment, retention and penetration were significant in high density wood whereas medium density wood showed only significant retention. Solution concentrations and overall retention and penetration percentage were found to be significantly related. The study found that sawn coconut wood samples could be effectively treated with preservatives complying with the prescribed retention and penetration percentages as per the different standards and therefore, could be used as a potential substitute for conventional timbers and the insect damage was negligible. No incidence of insects, particularly termites and pin hole borers was observed during the graveyard studies.