Meet Accoya, the world's leading, long life, sustainable timber. Highly innovative, Accoya has been recognised for its technical developments, improved performance and its sustainability, providing the perfect material for many projects. The result of decades of research and development has meant that leading-edge patented technology has led to the creation of a high performance wood that is ideal for outdoor use and challenging applications.
So, what is Accoya?
Accoya wood is based on the acetylation of plantation grown softwood. Acelytation is a process that has been studied on for more than 90 years by scientists. This process is what alters the cell structure of wood, thus improving its technical properties to make it stronger and more durable than traditional timber. It was the breakthrough of closed-loop engineering in 2007 that led to the first scale production of the wood.
The lifetime of traditional wood can vary vastly due to the way it is formed. Unmodified wood contains 'free hydroxyl groups' that absorb and release water as weather conditions change. When exposed to changeable weather over a long period of time (particularly cladding, windows and door frames), this can cause standard wood to expand and contract. As this occurs, this often leads to splitting and rotting which impacts on the service life of wood.
Hydrogen, oxygen and carbon chemicals (acetyl groups) are the three elements that are created within wood after the acetylation process, this changes the structure of existing hydroxyl groups. Each of these chemicals is already present naturally in wood, however the acetyl is created independently when acetic acid is added, for example vinegar. The entire process is 'green', as the acetylation process takes effect using nothing that doesn't occur in wood naturally.
It's green, more sustainable and the lifetime supersedes traditional wood. Accoya wood offer many benefits to the end user besides the obvious. The structural change that is made to the wood during the acetylation process means that the wood is virtually rot and insect proof as mould and fungi do not recognise Accoya as wood. It also means that the wood offers dimensional stability, resulting in a stronger and more durable wood.
What applications has it been used for/can be used for?
Due to its increased strength, durability and performance under changing weather conditions, it provides an excellent choice for outdoor and challenging applications. An iconic project to date that employed the use of Accoya wood was a project in the US which saw the creation of a giant replica of Noah's Ark which was built in Kentucky. It represents the country's largest free-standing timber structure. Accoya was selected for its eco friendly properties and high levels of stability and durability.
As you can see for yourself, it is a one of its kind attraction that truly takes your breath away.
The moral of the story is that if it's good enough for Noah's Ark, it's good enough for anything! Accoya wood has been used for a variety of extraordinary and exciting projects over the years including window restorations, towers, bridges, houses and even universities. It is a dream for architectural use, providing long term benefits that can also help the structure of existing buildings stand the test of time.
If a Noah's Ark is out of your reach, Accoya wood can still help you fulfil the true potential of your next project. The most common applications that Accoya is used for is windows and doors, wood cladding, wooden decking and structural use.
Everyone can benefit from this eco friendly and high performing wood which looks after the environment and it's home within it, whether that's in your home or at your local park. Accoya wood is the future of wood work, there's no surprise that it's already becoming the material of choice for carpenters and craftsmen.