Turning Archive 2004

Help with UV inhibitor research

Steven D. Russell
>Hello to the group,

For several years, I have been experimenting (Yes, I know, I experiment with just about everything :-) with ways woodturners can forestall the damaging effects of UV light and similar related colour loss in susceptible exotic and local timbers.

Some of the natural colour extractives in timber are light (UV) sensitive while others, are sensitive to other things in the environment that can cause colour loss. Without getting into a long winded explanation of UV degradation and other related colour loss issues, there are ways to forestall colour loss in timbers and I have been testing and researching this for more than seven years, with particular attention to the specific needs of the woodturning community.

I will have an article in "Woodturning" magazine (the English publication) early next year on this very subject and will reveal the results of my long-term testing. You can help... I have been testing lots of different timbers and my ways to reduce the colour loss through various UV resistant primary and secondary protocols. My research has produced amazing results an a wide variety of timbers, but more needs to be done...

While I always maintain a large supply of exotics and my local timbers, there are no doubt others that you work with that you find loosing their colour very fast, or changing into colours that you do not find pleasing. If you have a local timber that you want me to include in the testing, prior to my publication of the article, please let me know. I will do my best to obtain these timbers and run them through my established UV resistant protocols and supplemental colour loss prevention protocols and report on the results.

Please provide the local name (where it grows as well) and genus/species if possible and the types of colour loss problems you encounter when using this timber. I will include as many of these timbers as possible in the testing, along with those that I have been working with for the last few years.

I have been working with most all of the usual exotics, Rosewoods, Purpleheart, Pink Ivory, etc; and numerous local colour loss prone timbers like Sycamore, Yew, Mulberry, Bodark and others. I want to make the testing and the prevention protocols as far reaching as possible, that's where you come in...

By helping provide the names of timbers you have experience with, you can insure that the protocols benefit the broadest range of species that turners are concerned about.

Every timber will not be included (I fund these experiments out of my own back-pocket, so there is a limit to what I can spend), but we will have a really large cross sampling with your help and involvement and I will include as many of the species you're concerned with as possible.

Basic testing overview for those who may be interested:

My research has centred on two basic approaches to stabilize the damaging effects of light/UV:

1.) Trapping of the radicals formed during polymer degradation by radical scavengers - HALS.
2.) Competitive UV absorption by UV absorbers in the 290-350 nm wavelength range.

1.) Chemical: Bis(1,2,2,6,6-penatamethyl-4 -piperidinyl) sebacate and Methyl (1,2,2,6,6-penatamethyl-4 -piperidinyl) sebacate. This is easily blended into a variety of finishes and can be obtained in some pre-formulated finishes as well.

2.) Pigmented: TIO and TTD pigments prevent the UV from attacking both the coating system and the under surface. TIO's and TTD's provide effective protection, but can change the surface colour and some can obscure the grain.

Additional testing has involved the reduction, elimination, or mitigation of other factors that influence colour loss in timbers. These include numerous environmental, chemical, ambient storage conditions and other factors that can affect the overall rate, or degree of colour loss.

My goal has been to provide long-term protection from UV degradation and colour loss in susceptible timbers, or forestall this loss for as long as possible. All research has been specifically aimed at the unique needs of modern woodturners. All protocols are designed to seamlessly blend within the tight dynamics of the woodturning environment, with simple and effective mitigation, or elimination strategies and finishing protocols.

Thanks for your help and assistance in this matter and as always, if I can help you, please do not hesitate to contact me. Good luck to you and best wishes in all of your woodturning endeavours!

Better Woodturning and Finishing Through Chemistry...

Steven D. Russell
Eurowood Werks Woodturning Studio and Advanced Research Centre
The Woodlands, Texas
email: benzer@flash.net

Machinery, Tool and Product Testing for the Woodworking and Woodturning Industries

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