Development of procedures for sampling, testing, and classification to determine the biological durability of wood and wood-based products

The determination and classification of the durability of wood against wood-destroying organisms is regulated on the European level by EN 350. By the revised version of 2016, its scope has been extended e.g. to preserved and modified timber and wood-based materials. Neither the standard itself nor the test protocols referred to allow for classifying durability in a comprehensive manner. For example, it is not clear, which sampling and testing procedures need to be applied, how the classification can be carried out based on the results, and which conclusions can be drawn for service-life and performance of the products.

The overall aim of the project DURATEST is to develop applicable methods for durability testing of wood and wood-based products and an adequate classification system, which enables a comparative performance evaluation of different products. After identifying product-specific, methodical needs for development, selected products and materials from the different groups shall be investigated using laboratory and field test methods. The methods shall be adapted to the criteria for assessment, with durability classification evaluated based on the acquired results. A technical guideline for sampling, testing, and classification of durability will be compiled. Furthermore, recommendations for standardisation work, application of standards, and product declarations by producers are within further scope of the project.