Challenge: lumber preservation
Various techniques are available to protect exterior lumber. But most of them use synthetic products toxic to the environment and human health. Moreover, chemically treated lumber implies pollution problems when regarding end-of-life recycling, which questions the use of wood in construction.
A completely natural process
Inspired by a traditional technique using wood and vegetable oils, the OLEOBOIS process consists in deeply impregnating the material with a mixture of vegetable oils and natural additives heated at low temperature (<150°C).
This process, called oléothermie consists of three distinct phases that each provides a different function:
| ||Heating phase vaporizes the lumber internal water, creates a pressure state in its core and releases internal stresses of the material.
| ||Cooling phase condenses water vapor, which causes a deep penetration of the formulated oil.
| ||Drying phase completes the impregnation and permits to quickly obtain a dry appearance.
Reduced energy costs
Heating wood is not safe. Indeed, in addition to severe deformation caused by a too strong drying phase, basic mechanical properties of the material can be strongly affected when the processing temperature exceeds 160°C.
Therefore, in order to limit the temperature during the heating phase, also energetically costly, the cycle of the OLEOBOIS process prevents the lumber from being in contact with ambient air during the treatment. This feature allows taking full advantage of the internal depression generated during cooling.
A moderate heating phase is enough to obtain a maximum impregnation.