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Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 8/9/18 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehension.
You want to get into the wood preservation business, but you’re not sure what’s involved.
Successfully launching into the wood treatment industry and being profitable require a few things.
To keep production high and avoid setbacks, you need an in-depth knowledge of the process, experts to guide you and a whole lot of specialized equipment to preserve the wood.
Over the years, our company, Tank Fab, Inc., has helped many people get their start in the wood preserving industry by providing them with the necessary equipment used to pressure treat wood.
More often than not though, those individuals had no idea what was really needed to get into the business of treating wood with a chemical wood preservative.
Here’s a rundown of what you need to know before you decide to jump into wood preservation.
How does the wood preservation process work?
Though it’s a complicated process, understanding it can help you get the right wood preservation equipment for your needs.
These are the steps it takes to inject preservative into the wood:
The process to preserve wood seems simple enough, right?
But did you notice how many different types of wood preservation equipment are involved?
The equipment you’ll need to preserve wood includes:
There are quite a few pieces of machinery necessary to pressure treat wood.
Let’s take a look at what’s needed to get the job done efficiently and effectively.
This is the wheeled cart (also called a tram car) that the wood is loaded onto.
The wood preservative is usually delivered to your facility in a concentrated form. Once at your facility you’ll need to mix it with either water – for water-based wood preservatives or oil (for oil-based preservatives).
You’ll need three storage tanks: one for the wood-preservative concentrate, one for either water or oil, and one for the storage of the diluted (what we refer to as “work solution”) wood preservative.
But wait – which work-solution strength will you use to preserve your wood products? Above ground? Ground contact? Industrial use?
Depending on your choice, or multiple choices, you may need additional storage tanks. At a minimum, these tanks need to be built to either the UL or API code requirements – as well as your state or local code requirements.
The wood-preservative concentrate won’t be the only thing you’ll need to mix into your wood preservative’s work solution. Depending on which wood preservative you choose to use (CCA, ACQ, MCQ, MCA, ACZA, CA-C) you’ll need to add additional biocides to the solution.
These biocides will be delivered to your facility in industrial totes. You’ll then need the equipment to measure the amount of biocide needed for each work solution and deliver it to the appropriate storage tank.
These are the kinds of pumps you’ll need to preserve wood:
At the minimum you will need:
All the tanks and pumps will need a variety of piping and valves to move things between them.
These pipes and valves need to be sized for the optimum efficiency of your preserved wood production output.
We discussed how you could possibly have more than one wood preservative solution strength and the possibility of needing additional biocides for each of those. Each solution strength must be mixed to an exact measured ratio of preservative concentrate and biocide(s) injection rates. If you are going to use more than one solution strength, you’ll want to invest in automation to handle these mix processes for you.
In addition to this, the automation will also take over the process of preserving the wood for you once it is placed in the autoclave. Even if you choose not to automate your facility, you will need instrumentation for recording the wood-preservation process as required by the AWPA wood-preservation standards.
These instruments must be calibrated at regular intervals to remain compliant with the AWPA standards.
It’s possible you could require these additional systems to pressure treat wood:
These are the essential pieces of equipment needed to preserve wood, but you’re not quite ready to go into the pressure-treated wood business yet. There’s more you need to know.
You know the equipment needed for the actual wood preservation process, but there’s a lot more to think about, including these questions:
Each part of the process requires specialized equipment to function the way it should and result in preserved wood that will last for years to come.
Saving money is high on your list of priorities.
Doing so by purchasing wood preservation equipment that’s not up to standard isn’t the answer.
In fact, it’ll only cost you more in the long run.
Specialized equipment that’s designed and manufactured with your specific needs in mind will help you to increase your production which will have a positive impact on your revenue.
A lot of equipment is required to efficiently and effectively preserve wood.
From tram carts, autoclaves and a variety of pumps to piping valve systems and automation software, each piece plays an important role in the process.
To make sure your systems are running smoothly and production stays high, work with a reputable, seasoned company that has the knowledge and experience to give you guidance throughout the entire process.