A Year of Innovation for Arch

Arch Timber Protection will be launching an unprecedented four brand new product innovations to market during 2010. KEYWOOD modified timber and VACSOL FR fire retardant framing timbers, two of the four new products, were showcased at this year’s Ecobuild exhibition. Also in the pipeline is a unique treatment technology for I-Studs and a revolutionary new pressure treated product for outdoor use that allows timber to have a totally natural look, as it not only provides preservative protection, but also enhances its visual weathering properties.

Janet Brown, marketing manager for Arch, commented ‘Where timbers are used outdoors in their natural state, you can often get rapid deterioration of the visual appearance of the wood due to the growth of non-destructive, staining fungi. These organisms appear as unsightly black or grey patches at the surface of the timber. Up until now you have only had the option to preserve outdoor timbers in green and brown colour options. Our new product, metal free TANALITH M wood preservative, is unique in that it is clear and is extremely effective at preventing the development of these staining fungi. The resulting TANALISED Clear pressure treated timber maintains a clean and fresh appeal for longer. Indeed, the timber develops a distinctive and very attractive sun lightened appearance over time.’

‘Just like the rest of our treatment products, we have thoroughly tested TANALITH M in realistic field conditions with appropriate timber species for European markets. The results for this new metal free preservative are extremely exciting in providing our customers and the specification market with a brand new choice for the protection of out of ground contact, decorative applications, such as cladding, decking and timber buildings.’

‘The two new products we launched at Ecobuild in March have already attracted a great deal of interest. Over the last few years modification technologies have presented new choices for timber supply. However, Arch wanted a premier product that would offer the ultimate in terms of versatility, durability and sustainability and we believe KEYWOOD provides exactly that.’

The novel resinification treatment process adds a natural biomass based resin to the cell walls of the radiata pine to provide significantly improved biological performance and physical attributes. KEYWOOD has a provisional Durability Class 1 rating that will deliver a service life up to 60 years for above ground outdoor applications. Data has been reviewed by the Building Research Establishment and they have confirmed this durability rating. KEYWOOD also has an improved stability and an increased hardness that does not affect the strength and structural integrity of the timber, making KEYWOOD simple to work and install.

Janet added, ‘The radiata pine we use is from sustainable sources and is of the highest grade, ensuring that there are no knots on any of the faces. The treatment process adds a very attractive brown colouration throughout the wood that allows a consistent appearance, even after machining. We see KEYWOOD as the next generation in wood modification providing a versatile choice for cladding, decking, joinery, flooring and furniture applications and an ideal alternative to man-made materials and tropical hardwoods.’

Timber frame continues to grow in popularity as a versatile and sustainable form of construction. However, fires caused by arson during the construction phase of key projects over the last few years, have lead to various reviews and recommendations from the industry. In VACSOL FR, Arch is offering a new combined treatment protection that will reduce the threat of fire for timber projects under construction as well as providing a long term preservative protection to the timber frame material throughout the life of the building.

Janet explained, ‘We first introduced the idea of a combined fire and preservative protection a few years ago and we have now re-launched our VACSOL FR treatment as a timely solution to help ensure timber frame technology is the leading choice for new build. Alongside various site safety recommendations that have been highlighted by the UKTFA, VACSOL FR provides an added re-assurance that allows extra time for people to evacuate a construction site and more scope for fire fighters to respond and limit any damage should a fire occur. Continuing independent tests have demonstrated a very effective slowing of the burning process and reduction of the amount of heat and smoke that is generated.’

Finally, new and more demanding Eurocode building requirements are creating new opportunities for timber in the construction arena. In the UK there is a growing trend to utilise I-Studs in external timber frame walls. New Vacsol Aqualine has been specifically developed to allow the continued use of I-Studs in these situations where preservative protection is now required to meet standards.

Not only is the preservative system from Arch novel, its in-line application is a brand new concept for the timber protection industry. The system provides a fast, efficient and effective method that is perfect for the protection of these types of components.

Janet continued, ‘All of our new products are proven, game changing innovations. They are designed for specific end-use markets, extending the scope of treated timber and will present new opportunities for our customers to exploit. They represent major advancements in timber protection technologies.‘

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