RitikaaWood writes
September 14, 2023
Geet Dave
Marketing Manager

Acetylation: What is it?

Acetylation is a process that is done on the wood species of radiata pine, this process converts a grade 3 wood piece into a grade 1 wood specimen. Acetylation is, very simply put, an exposure of softwood to vinegar which gives it the properties of a hardwood. And before we let our imaginations run wild, this is not your household vinegar, it is acetic anhydride.

The Process of Acetylation

Let’s understand the process a bit deeper.

Representation of complete Acetylation process.
Representation of complete Acetylation process.

Essentially, water molecules are held on the wood cells, imagine a small (very small) cup holding a molecule of water in it. This water is stored in the form of moisture, that is why fresh wood is heavier, because of the water it holds.

Normal processing of wood involves baking the wood at a high temperature, so the water is extracted out in the form of vapors. There is, however, an issue with this. You see, in the cup we spoke about, the wood cell still exists, ready to take in water, if introduced. This is the reason why during rain or monsoons your doors jam! They simply reabsorb the water, which causes them to change shape and warp out of the frame they’re in. How Acetylation works is that these empty spaces are occupied by the vinegar molecules. If anyone is wondering, no, we cannot consume this vinegar. While it is non-toxic and natural, it is quite concentrated! Coming back to the topic at hand, the vinegar molecules which now occupy the wood, do not allow moisture to be absorbed, even in the future. The wood is now called acetylated wood which is resistant to moisture, rain, and water in general.

What is Acetic Anhydride

This is a concentrated form of Vinegar. It is acompletely non-toxic, natural substance derived from Acetic Acid. In fact, vinegar is just Acetic acid (4%-6%) in water!

It is also good to know that the byproduct from the process is used in other industries and often re-concentrated to be used in the process again. This is in line with the circular economy that we all at RitikaaWood follow.

Why use Acetylated wood?

The reason is quite simple. We believe in crafting beauty that lasts, this requires us to use incomparable quality of raw materials so that we can focus on the design, while longevity is taken care of inherently.

Accoya Wood, which is an acetylated wood, while being classified as a soft wood has properties which are comparable to hard wood. It is water resistant, meaning no more worrying about jamming luxury windows, and luxury doors, you’ve chosen with much consideration. Accoya is a termite resistant wood, termites won’t hollow out the big walk out sliding window frames anymore, neither will your big entrance door come loose because of them. Accoya boasts an unparallel dimensional stability, perfectly fitting wooden structures, wood roofs and timber decks, that will not creak anytime in the future. This is truly an economical timber option when you consider the entire lifecycle of over 50+years. This claim is supported by the 50-year warranty and the 25-year warranty for timber underwater we offer. Underwater is not something you imagine when considering wood, but now you can.

Accoya is truly an investmentin the future, an investment in a legacy!

This article was inspired from Accoya Website, our timber partners.