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Understanding Timber Preservation
This is due not only to a great variability in wood properties and our environment but also to the way in which the products are used. Wood suffers minor and gradual physical and chemical changes as a result of age. It is an organic material which can support the life of other organisms if the environment is suited to their growth and this, under certain conditions, leads to rapid breakdown of the wood. What are the circumstances in which wood is likely to be attacked by destructive agents and what measures should be taken to defeat them?
Most people can identify wood when they see it and can give names to the more familiar timbers in general use. However, much is taken for granted and relatively few may know timber in terms of a growing form of plant life or understand what structural variations produce the features characterising species which enable us to name them. The differences which exist between species are sufficient for us to realise that timber is a substance of greater diversity and character than materials such as steel and concrete. To enable the best use to be made of wood and to ensure the correct selection of the type best suited to any application, it is necessary to understand something of its structural form and characteristics and how these vary from species to species.
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