European Journal of Wood and Wood Products

, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 231–238 | Cite as

Use of wax emulsions for improvement of wood durability and sorption properties

  • Boštjan Lesar
  • Miha HumarEmail author
Originals Originalarbeiten


Waxes are used for treatment of wood surfaces for several decades predominately as surface treatments because they weakly penetrate into the wood. In order to overcome this issue, water emulsions were applied in the present experiment. Five water emulsions of various concentrations were used, namely montan wax, polyethylene, ethylene copolymer and oxidized polyethylene wax. Performance of wax treated beech (Fagus sylvatica) and Norway spruce (Picea abies) against white rot, brown rot and blue stain fungi was tested. In parallel, sorption properties of wax treated wood were determined. The treated specimens were more resistant to wood decay fungi. Polyethylene and oxidized polyethylene wax were found to be particularly efficient. Although this treatment does not improve resistance to blue stain fungi, it reduces the sorption of water.


Sorption Property Control Specimen Treated Wood Wood Specimen Beech Wood 
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Die Verwendung von Wachsemulsionen zur Verbesserung der Dauerhaftigkeit und der Sorptionseigenschaften von Holz


Seit Jahrzehnten werden Wachse fast ausschließlich zur Oberflächenbehandlung von Holz verwendet, weil sie nur schwach in das Holz eindringen. Um das Eindringverhalten zu verbessern, wurden in dieser Studie fünf verschiedene Wasseremulsionen in unterschiedlichen Konzentrationen verwendet, und zwar zwei Montanwachse, Polyethylen, Ethylen-Copolymer und oxidiertes Polyethylenwachs. Die Resistenz von wachsbehandeltem Buchenholz (Fagus sylvatica) und Fichtenholz (Picea abies) gegen Weißfäule-, Braunfäule- und Bläuepilze wurde untersucht. Daneben wurden die Sorptionseigenschaften von wachsbehandeltem Holz bestimmt. Die behandelten Prüfkörper waren gegen Holz zerstörende Pilze resistenter, wobei sich Polyethylen und oxidiertes Polyethylenwachs als besonders wirksam erwiesen. Zwar wird mit dieser Behandlung die Resistenz gegen Bläue nicht verbessert, jedoch wird die Wasseraufnahme reduziert.



The authors would like to acknowledge the Slovenian Research Agency for financial support in the frame of the projects L4-0820-0481 and P4-0015-048. We appreciate the technical support of Gregor Smrdelj, Žiga Melanšek and Jože Avguštinčič.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biotechnical Faculty, Department for Wood Science and TechnologyUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

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