, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 151-160

Microdistribution of metal elements in wood impregnated with a copper-chrome-arsenic preservative as determined by analytical electron microscopy

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The distribution of Cu, Cr and As in the walls of tracheids of Scots pine impregnated with Tanalith C at a retention of 2.5 lb/ft3 has been examined at the submicroscopic level in the electron microscope microanalyser, EMMA-4, using the absolute method, as well as in the conventional electron microscope. All three elements are present in all regions examined (probe area 0.2 μm diameter). The concentration of Cu ranges from 0.4–0.9% (w/w), that of Cr is about 0.8%, while As ranges from 2%–2.6%. The morphology of this fine deposit is clearly dictated by the run of the cellulose microfibrils. There is in the wall an occasional coarse deposit, almost entirely copper, and the inner face of the tracheid wall is covered by a thin layer 20–30 μm thick which contains all these elements at high concentration.