- Gauvin, Debra A.
University of Maine
This report present the results of a study dealing with the use of alkali solubility as an indication of decay in diseased wood. The study determines if, in fact, the 1% alkaline solubility test could serve as a valuable empirical measurement of decay in wood to be used in commercial pulping.
Five groups of trees (all Balsam Fir) were used in this experiment, ranging from live trees to trees dead over three years. The cause of death in the trees was spruce budworm infestation. The 1% NaOH solubility tests were conducted using only the 5/8" 7/8" chips from the trees studied.
The results of this study revealed that significant differences existed between the alkali solubilities of Balsam Fir (5/8' and 7/8' chip fractions) with varying times since death. The solubility values obtained on the chips tested exhibited excellent accuracy and reproducibility, and a linear relationship existed between alkali solubility and degree of decay. These results led to the recommendation that the 1% NaOH solubility test be used as a measurement of decay in wood to be used out in industry.