Kebonization Turns Softwood into Hardwood

Kebonization Turns Softwood into Hardwood

Trent Johnson
Sep 22, 2009

Softwood, which grows faster and is more sustainable than hardwood, is generally unsuitable for the outdoors. A new process called "kebonization" aims to turn softwood into something more durable for use outside...

Most recently if you wanted a durable wood for any outdoor project, you had three choices: unsustainable hardwoods, wood substitutes, or pressure-treated wood. Pressure-treated wood is soaked in toxic chemicals such as chromated copper arsenate, or alkaline copper quaternary compounds, and generally carries special handling requirements for any leftover wood.

The process of kebonization is similar to pressure treating wood but without all the nasty chemicals. Kebonization utilizes a waste byproduct from sugar cane, a process that reinforces the cells of the wood. The resulting material is longer lasting, more durable and much harder.

Some of the benefits, as stated by Kebony ASA, the originator of the process, are as follows:

  • Environmentally-Friendly: the materials have no harmful effects on the environment. Production of Kebony is based on a liquid extracted from biowaste. In the waste disposal phase, Kebony can be treated as regular untreated wood.
  • Dimensionally Stable: The process results in the wood cells being permanently blocked which, compared with untreated wood, reduces shrinkage and swelling by approximately 50%.
  • Easy to Maintain: Kebony products require no form of maintenance beyond normal cleaning.
  • Good Compression Strength: The process increases the density of the materials and makes them stiffer and significantly harder than untreated wood.
  • Sustainable: The raw materials for Kebony are acquired from commercially managed forests with large timber harvests. All our suppliers hold certificates guaranteeing the origin of their timber.
  • Cost-Effective: Good durability and long life spans in harsh climates. No need for paint products, etc. to retain product properties. Required maintenance is limited to normal cleaning.
  • Resistant: Protects against decay, fungi, insects and other microorganisms.
  • Non-Toxic: Kebony contains no chemicals that can be released into the environment. The polymer is permanently bonded to the cell structure in the wood by means of a process which cannot be reversed.
  • Good Durability: Modified wood is a durable alternative to impregnated surface-treated and tropical timber.

Kebony ASA via JetsonGreen.

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