Theses (Historic Preservation)

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:

George, Katharine (2017). Comparative Analysis of Select Sustainable Wood Preservative Systems for Heritage Conservation: A Termite Resistance Laboratory Testing Program on Radiata Pine. (Masters Thesis). University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.


Today, the naturally harvested wood material of the past, prized for durability, is increasing difficult to obtain in substantial quantities with no certainty of replenishing a diminishing resource. The building and heritage conservation industries are in need of an environmentally friendly wood-based product whose service life meets the expectations of its users. The wood preservative industry aims to mitigate this gap in the present-day wood industry by minimizing wood’s vulnerability to the consumptive natural environment. Generally, wood preservatives are chemicals that are toxic to common decay fungi and/or insects, or are chemicals that somehow modify or protect the wood against deterioration. The future of wooden heritage conservation is dependent upon ecologically sensitive preservative systems that incorporate sustainable forestry practice and species. This study seeks to begin this process by pairing the species radiata pine (Pinus radiata) with select low VOC formulas (borates, TWP, tung oil, permethrin and potassium silicates) to test for durability against eastern subterranean termite (Recticulitermes flavipes) damage.


subterranean termites, wood preservatives, radiata pine, permethrin, wooden heitage conservation



Date Posted: 26 May 2017