In June of 2014, we purchased all of Eastman Chemical's Perennial Decking inventory of 5 million bf. The wood is acetylated, a modification technology that improves dimensional stability and decay resistance. Acetylated wood offers outstanding appearance, performance and value.
Made from southern yellow pine, the Eastman program used exclusively "C and better" lumber. There are virtually no knots. Additionally, 50% is vertical grain.
The science behind acetylated wood is over 40 years old and has been commercially available in Europe for 20 years. Eastman Chemical is a vendor of acetic anhydride to Accoya, the leading manufacturer of acetylated wood worldwide.
How acetylation works: Acetic anhydride bonds with the hydroxyl groups in the wood causing the wood cells to permanently swell. The hydroxyl groups can no longer absorb or give off water vapor with changes in relative humidity. When the equilibrium moisture content of the wood is stabilized, it cannot cup, twist or warp.
In terms of safety, Acetic anhydride is found in many household products such as acetate and acetaminophen. The acetylation process leaves behind small amounts of acetic acid, which is also found in household vinegar. One can think of acetylated wood as pickled wood. Although this sounds funny, pickling has been an effective method for food preservation for over 4000 years.
Acetylated wood offers performance typically associated with imported hardwoods. Acetylated wood is domestic, sustainable, versatile and cost effective for a wide range of indoor and outdoor applications. Call for more information.