Chemical method of assessing the degree of biodegradation of wooden structural elements

Monitoring and testing of buildings and structures

Wood is an environmentally friendly and lightweight building material that is sensible to the destrustion of various biological agents at non-observance of proper temperature and humidity regime. Wood-destroying white-rot and brown-rot fungi and micromycetes (mold) have a leading position among biodestructors. This organisms use wood as the trophic base changing it’s chemical composition and correspondingly it’s mechanical properties. We investigated changes in the content of the main biopolymers of wood (cellulose and lignin) and changes in ash content and moisture of the material under the influence of mold and wood fungi. We analyzed samples of wooden constructions with different biodestruction degree. We used chemical methods of extraction of cellulose and lignin from intact and diseased by fungi wood, method of calculation of material’s moisture and ash content. It was found that, with the development of deep destructions cellulose content is reduced by 20%, lignin content is reduced by 40%. Moisture and ash content of wood can also be used as markers of a certain degree of biodegradation.