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Termite resistance of beech wood treated with zinc oxide and zinc borate nanocompounds

Lykidis, Charalampos, De Troya, Teresa, Conde, María, Galván, Jorge, Mantanis, George
Wood material science and engineering 2018 v.13 no.1 pp. 45-49
Fagus sylvatica subsp. sylvatica, Reticulitermes, biocides, dispersions, engineering, leaching, materials science, mortality, wood, wood impregnation, zinc borate, zinc oxide
The field of wood protection is currently changing due to the restrictions imposed by the Biocidal Products Regulation. The need for development of new wood protection technologies is therefore growing. In this work, the resistance of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) wood impregnated with nano-dispersions of zinc oxide (nano-ZnO) and zinc borate (nano-ZnB) against the termite Reticulitermes grassei Clement was investigated. Three different concentrations (0.5%, 1%, 2%) of the nanocompounds were tested. The effects of water leaching were also investigated. A severe effect in terms of termite workers mortality was induced by both dispersions, even at the lowest concentration. In terms of termite feeding, nano-ZnO dispersions appeared to be more efficient than nano-ZnB as they induced significant improvement at concentrations as low as 0.5%. Nano-ZnB was applied at 1% or higher concentrations in order to impart similar changes. Nano-ZnB dispersions were efficient in terms of termite resistance for a concentration at least 1%. Further increasing concentration to 2% resulted in a respective increase of wood efficacy against termites. For both tested nanocompounds, water leaching did not result in any significant increase of termite feeding.