- story by MaterialDistrict
Medite Tricoya Extreme is a completely new, high performance, wood based panel product. It demonstrates durability and dimensional stability in the most extreme and challenging environments – exterior as well as interior, wet and high moisture, applications.
The product uses proprietary acetylated wood technology and a modified fibreboard manufacturing process to create a wood panel with durability and stability.
Medite Tricoya Extreme has been jointly developed between Medite Europe and Tricoya Technologies and is made using a patented acetylation technology. Medite Tricoya Extreme was developed by challenging the most fundamental reason for wood swelling: water absorption onto hygroscopic wood fibres due to the presence of hydroxyl groups. The hydroxyl groups (water loving sites) can bind or release water molecules causing wood to swell or shrink. It is also believed that the digestion of wood by enzymes initiates at the free hydroxyl sites – which is one of the principal reasons that wood is prone to decay.
Accsys’ proprietary technology used to produce Tricoya wood elements is based on wood acetylation, a process that has been studied by scientists around the world for more than 80 year. Acetylation effectively changes the free hydroxyls (represented as OH in the chemical formula below) within the wood into acetyl groups. This is done by reacting the wood with acetic anhydride, which comes from acetic acid (known as vinegar when in its dilute form). When the free hydroxyl group is transformed to an acetyl group, the ability of the wood to absorb water is greatly reduced, rendering the wood more dimensionally stable and, because it is no longer digestible, extremely durable.
Acetyl groups are naturally present in all wood species. The acetylation process therefore adds nothing to the wood that does not already naturally occur within it, resulting in an end product with no added environmental toxins. The effect of altering the wood’s chemical structure is to create a new product that is modified right through the cross section. By contrast, other wood preservative treatments merely insert chemicals (such as oils, ammonia or metal compounds) into the wood, improving durability but not dimensional stability.