Natural as wood…

Austrian traditions of wood treatment


Harmony
of Nature
head

Nature perfection

All the chemical substances including natural ones have a smell, which is due to release of volatile organic chemicals (VOC). This indicator determines degree of their impact on our health in case of their contact-free action. As for synthetic substances, the odor presence is an alerting or dangerous factor as it is a result of artificial chemical substances presence, which can influence our health in an unknown direction. 99.9% industrial substances are toxic in various degree, especially in a case of a constant action. This is why it is a kind of a lottery (though without a win chance). Meanwhile as for natural components, almost always, their odor is a benefit. Indeed, what can be more pleasant and healthy for us than odor of fir-needles, fresh grass, flowers or honey?

Long since, our ancestors treated wood with oils and waxes, which suit it ideally. With uprise of new cheaper synthetic materials, natural components were used more and more seldom because of a higher cost and at last they were extruded completely. Although for wood treatment, especially for wood entering into a contact with human body, the natural products use is much safer and more esthetical and it provides with more durable effect.

The wood is living breathing material; it absorbs and gives back moisture easily. Our protective wood treatment must not deprive it those unique properties.

The main advantages of the natural covers in comparing to the synthetic ones:

I. Natural covers penetrate easily into wood upper layer, harden it and form an integral whole with it and that is why they never peel away;

II.Natural covers are much more elastic and they do not crack as a result of wood sizes fluctuations, for example under heating or cooling or because of humidity changes;

III. Natural covers have got micro-porous (“breathing”) structure and do not change the natural balance of humidity between the wood and the environment creating a comfortable micro-climate in a premise.

IV. And perhaps the main advantage; Natural covers are absolutely safe, even if they possess a residual aroma as originally they can not contain substances pathogene for humans but instead they contain only natural substances.

The specified effects can be reached gratifying to the three main components of the natural products:

Natural waxes (beeswax, carnauba palm wax, candellila wax) They are not polymers and do not polymerize after their applying onto a surface. On their chemical structure, they are relatives of fats but they are much harder and stable both in chemical and wear-connected relations. They are distributed uniformly on a wooden surface but do not form a film, here again because of the fact that they are not polymers. That is why the wood conserves its ability of “breathing” and its water-exchange is not violated. Waxes are absolutely not soaked with water; that is why they add the strong water-repellent properties to the surface. The absence of the soaking-in effect is explained by mismatch of waxes and water molecules to each others both on their structure and their compositions as their molecules are not akin to each others. Due to this reason, “lotus effect” is reached, when water drops roll over a surface instead of flowing around.

Natural oils. They are not polymers also but they polymerize under action of air after their applying onto a surface, which results in forming of polymeric coating. Due to this, as a result of such surface treatment with oils, an effect of both impregnating and hardening of the surface is attained (because small molecules penetrate into the surface easily). Also the oils bring a stable protection and add a decorative effect gratifying to a polymer, which formed after the oil applying. Oils are much better soaked with water than waxes and also they dry up during a long time; and that is why, use of untreated oils is not convenient and does not produce any considerable water- and mud-protective effect in frame of wood treatment.

Natural resins. They are hard natural substances that add wear resistance to a surface, gloss and a beautiful look. The resins give properties of lacquers to compounds. At the same time, they do not clog wood pores as they are not polymers. Often non-prepared resins are not suitable for lacquers production as they are not stable enough and can be destroyed during a cover operation. After their purification and ennobling, their properties are improved considerably and they become perfectly suitable for lacquers manufacturing.

As a rule, synthetic covers form an uninterrupted non-porous film, which destroys water balance between wood and environment. That implies that the water exchange goes on very slowly or is absent completely. As a result, in some time, the synthetic cover can overswell and exfoliate as water steams are accumulated under the film in a form of bubbles. As a rule, the synthetic films have a coefficient of expansion not coinciding with the same of wood. It can lead to film cracking. As a result, the exfoliating together with cracking lead to cover destruction and drastic lowering of its protective properties.

At the same time water steams penetrate easily through natural covers and this is why they do not accumulate under a film because of wood substances release; they do not cause cover swelling and exfoliation. Besides, due to it, the wood conserves its ability to “breath” and maintains a comfortable micro-climate in a room on expense of water absorption and release.

As a rule, synthetic products do not penetrate into wood or can penetrate to an insignificant extent as they have big polymer molecules and quite high viscosity, which prevents their penetration into wood cells.
A natural oil has molecules size considerably less than that of a wooden cell; and this is why it penetrates easily into a wood facial layer and polymerizes both on the surface and inside of the upper wood layer. As a result, a facial wood layer hardening is reached; a very strong adhesion is formed (a force of holding) between a cover and a wood. And as a subsequence, a constant reliable protection and valuable decorative properties emerge. In this case, the natural cover and the wood upper layer are an integral whole and they are inseparable from one another.

 

Summary: A polymer cover produced from natural oils, resins and waxes possesses a high constant elasticity and does not crack in conditions of fluctuation of wood sizes under heating, cooling or moisture action. The cover and the wood work as a united system as they are products of vegetable origin and akin to one another.