Our thermo-treatment process uses only water and electricity to create the desired results, minimally impacting the environment. Considering this along with the fact that chemicals are never introduced, you realize that you have real wood that is 100% environmentally safe and people friendly.
Thermo-treated wood (TT Wood) is relatively new to the United States, however it dominates the European market...
About fifteen years ago, the first technology for thermo-treating wood was created in Finland. The process was designed solely to treat softwoods with the intentions of producing an environmentally safe alternative for chemically treated wood. Since then, the technology has been significantly improved upon, but only Westwood's technology has revolutionized the thermo-treatment process making it compatible with both soft and hardwoods.
Is it true thermo-treated wood doesn't shrink and doesn't swell?
Yes, the dimensional stability is dramatically improved by 5-15 times when compared to non-treated hardwoods. The rule of thumb is the darker the color, the greater the stability. However, thermo-treated wood is STILL WOOD and can't be considered as stable as materials like stone. Some dimensional movements have to be taken into consideration.
Can thermo-treated wood be used when constant ground contact is unavoidable?
Research has shown that when thermo-treated wood is kept in constant contact with the ground it does not decay. However, due to the chemical processes that occur in wood kept in constant contact with the ground, there is some lose of strength. For the time being it is not recommended to maintain constant ground contact when using thermo-treated wood.
Is the color of thermo-treated wood consistent throughout the wood?
Yes, the color is consistent to the very center of the board.
What is the difference between thermo-treating Soft and Hardwoods?
Precise control is needed when treating hardwoods because of the exothermal reactions occurring in hardwoods. Westwood's advanced technology utilizes a 3-D Heat Wave control which was specifically created to treat hardwoods.
Can thermo-treated wood be glued?
Thermo-treated wood is suitable for jobs involving glue or paint. If water-based glue or paints are used, a longer penetrating time is required (mostly for softwoods). This is due to the diminished absorption of water and must be taken into consideration. If an oil-based product is used, simply follow the manufactures directions.
Is the smell of thermo-treated wood harmful?
The results of tests show that the smell of thermo-treated wood, similar to the smell of charcoal, is not at all harmful but may be unusual to some people. There is seldom any smell when the products are pre-finished. For unfinished products, this aroma will fade away after 1 to 2 months from the time of treatment. The tests also show that emissions from thermo-treated wood are 3 times less than non-treated.
Does the product have to be finished for outdoor applications?
Thermo-treated wood is still a natural, organic material and will fade in color from UV exposure. The brown tint will fade to a silver/gray over a 1 to 2 year period if untreated with a UV protectant. Although the wood is resistant to checking, it is more likely that checking will occur if a UV protectant is not applied. Checking of the wood has no effect on the long term durability or its resistance to rot and decay. In order to maintain and improve the woods performance against checking, and accentuate the natural grain structure brought out by the process, we recommend the use of a semi-transparent UV protectant. For example, PENOFIN® CLEAR is a commercially available UV protectant that works well with thermo-treated products. The application of a finish on a light-treated material is strongly recommended! Please avoid OVER-EXPECATATIONS related with the weather exposure of unfinished thermo-treated wood.
Ultra Premium Red Label Penofin Clear (http://www.penofin.com/products_rl.shtml) - find locations here: http://www.penofin.com/location.shtml. Also available on-line: http://www.penofin.com/buy.shtml
SIKKENS Cetol® WB SRD (AZKO NOBEL): http://www.nam.sikkens.com/product-category3.cfm?product_category=deck. Where to buy: http://www.nam.sikkens.com/find-a-dealer.cfm
How often is maintainence rquired for thermo-treated wood Products?
Thermo-Treated wood products have increased dimensional stability which allows it to maintain its size. This ensures the products will not shrink or swell following the application of a protectant. When the product maintains its size it prevents the finish from cracking, which means fewer coats, less often. However to ensure you are receiving the best results from your protectant please follow the directions on the products' label.
Does the product have any guarantee?
The life cycle of thermo-treated wood is determined by the degree of temperature reached during the process and can be recognized by the various colors. A dark chocolate color is class #1 in durability, meaning it has a life cycle of 25+ years. A lighter (honey) color has a Class #2 durability rating and has a life cycle of 15 - 25 years*. Based on these standards, Westwood offers its customers a transferable limited 25-years warranty on thermo-treated wood products.
*The life cycles are based on exterior applications.
What is the difference between the “heat-treated wood” and “thermo-treated wood” terms?
In the U.S. the term, "heat treated wood" refers to wood that is heated to temperatures around 130 deg F. The only purpose being to kill bugs larvae within the wood. Thermo-treated wood is a process that increases the temperature of wood beyond 400 deg F which creates a change in the molecular structure, resulting in a new generation of wood material.