Micromorphological Characteristics of Buddhist Temple Woods Treated with Eire-retardant

방염 처리 고목재의 미생물 분해의 미시형태적 특징

  • Wi, Seung Gon (Department of Forest Products & Technology, Chonnam National University) ;
  • Kim, Ik-Joo (National Maritime Museum) ;
  • Park, Young Man (Gwangju National Museum) ;
  • Kim, Yoon Soo (Department of Forest Products & Technology, Chonnam National University)
  • Published : 2001.11.01


Following the recommendations made by the cultural authorities the wooden cultural properties (WCP) had been treated with fire-retardants for fire protection. However, visual inspections of some of the WCPs treated with fire-retardants showed microbial decay. The work was extended to examine the micromorphological characteristics of the WCPs in a Buddhist temple which had been treated with fire-retardant. Microscopic examination showed the presence of typical soft rot cavities along the length of microfibrils in the secondary wall. Bacterial attack was also observed by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. It is interesting that the decay patterns observed in the Buddhist temple were very similar to those observed in the waterlogged woods. Presumably chemicals in the fire-retardants used rendered the wood susceptible to attack by soft-rot and bacterial decay by causing an increase in the moisture content of wood. Further studies are needed to investigate the effect of fire-retardants used currently on the hygroscopicity and the strength of wood materials in the WCPs. Microbial attacks caused degradation of the secondary cell walls and in some cases also of the middle lamella. In addition, the cell walls in the outer parts of wood were also degraded due to weathering, and cell separation occurred from total disintegration of the middle lamella.