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Chris Grimm, CSI, CCS, MAI, RLA
Senior Member
Username: tsugaguy

Post Number: 85
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - 11:37 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

What to do with this one... Maybe a new #?

06 05 73.43 Glass-Infused Wood (???)

The product is TimberSIL, some of you might have heard of it. It is an improvement on conventional wood treatment processes, that instead of replacing one poison with another, uses microscopic particles of aqueous glass solution (sodium silicate), thoroughly infused into wood forming a protective barrier, making the material unavailable as a food source to insects and decay.

Independent test results indicate it also eliminates problems with corrosion of fasteners, and has excellent fire-retardant properties.

So it encompasses 06 05 73.13 and 06 05 73.33. It really seems to be its own new category, using the concept of a non-toxic barrier to solve the problems with wood.

The manufacturer wants to avoid using the term "treated", because their process is so different from the conventional toxin-based treatments. But without the word "treated", will architects and contractors know what it is supposed to do?

Glass-infused seems to bring to mind tiny shards having sharp edges... This is not the case though, I've checked with the manufacturer, and the sodium silicate glass infusion they use is an aqueous solution of microscopic particles that remain flexible, yet create an impenetrable barrier to insects and decay.

more info:

Popular Science award:

Article at woodworking.com:

The main question: Do you have a better idea for section title?
Marc C Chavez
Senior Member
Username: mchavez

Post Number: 209
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - 12:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Well, first of all, it's not glass or ever close. Of course, it is called "water glass" perhaps if the section was "water glass-infused wood" or perhaps let's just use the real name "Sodium Silicate-Infused Wood" or SSI Wood. This would remove the misnomer and accurately describe the product.
Interesting that Wikpedia (always a source of reliable information ;) ) does reference an historical version of this process as far back as 1910 see also Wikpedia's reference to Passive Fire Protection under sodium silicate. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_silicate)
Gary L. Beimers, FCSI, CDT, CSC
Senior Member
Username: gbeimers

Post Number: 15
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - 12:13 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

If you think this merits an "offical" addition to the MasterFormat numbers and titles, you (or the manufacturer) might consider submitting a proposal at MasterFormat.com. That would put the topic in the loop for the MasterFormat Maintenance Task Team to review and act upon.

There have been 100+ proposals made to date via the MasterFormat website. Several have been reviewed and postings of Revisions has begun.
Bob Woodburn
Senior Member
Username: bwoodburn

Post Number: 196
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - 12:25 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

It IS treated wood -- just treated with a different (and non-toxic) treatment. But borate treatment is also non-toxic, non-corrosive, fire-retardant, effective against rot & decay, and contains no heavy metals.

Though the product does seem to have advantages over its competitors, and is perhaps unique in its combination of features, no new section is needed, for either borate or silicate treatment. If it needs its own name, "silicate-treated wood" would do just fine. A name doesn't have to be an exhaustive description.
Posted on Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - 12:39 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Please keep it a 6 digit number.
Like maybe 06 05 74.
Chris Grimm, CSI, CCS, MAI, RLA
Senior Member
Username: tsugaguy

Post Number: 86
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - 12:46 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Gary- Great to hear that they are reviewing them. I've been posting a few there too. For this one I needed some initial feedack, then I'll post it there afterwards.

Mark/Bob- Great ideas, I'm leaning towards Silicate-Treated Wood. Just curious, with borate treatment since it too is preservative and fire-retardant, which MF04 section would it be specified under? I guess one could just go to level 3 and specify any or all of them.

One problem with borate, if I understand correctly from editors notes and research I've read, it must be continuously protected from liquid water. Wouldn't seem to work for exterior applications like wood patio decking and railings. I've also been avoiding allowing borate for wood framed structures and miscellaneous rough carpentry becasue I don't know how a contractor (or our CA folks) can ever be sure the treatment won't get washed off in the rain before everything is dried in. I know it is cheaper initially, but if it did get exposed to rain, then what do you do? There is a practice of painting the ends of field-cut members with borate, maybe that could be done to the entire building or miscellaneous items like cants or whatever got rained on.

Anon- I'm planning to use a level 4 number for keeping my electronic files organized, yet will publish as a level 3 (6-digit).
Posted on Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - 02:43 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

The dirty little secret about this type of preservative treatment is that, in order for the salt to diffuse into the cellular structure of the wood, the wood has to be well above 21 per cent moisture content. Rot begins at 28 percent, and sits dormant at 21 percent and lower. The problem is that the wood could be rotting between 21 per cent moisture content and whatever it takes for the preservative to diffuse into the cells.

Oh, also - this preservative leaches out of the wood over time.

It's a great solution for certain applications (like for bugs in Hawaii), but not such a good deal for stuff exposed to the weather.
Chris Grimm, CSI, CCS, MAI, RLA
Senior Member
Username: tsugaguy

Post Number: 87
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Tuesday, July 03, 2007 - 03:44 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

This particular product has independent testing per TCLP-EPA1311 with result of 99.98% non-leaching.

I am not aware of a salt compound (sodium chloride?) in their process, it is sodium silicate, more like the silica in glass - see the wikipedia article mentioned above.

I'll have to see what I can find out about the moisture content before/during/after treating and how long the infusion process takes.

I guess it is time to move this one out of MF04 Discussions and over to Product Discussions.

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