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Lumber Yard
5 min read

Quats in Wood Preservation

Building on the insights from our previous post on the use of quaternary ammonium compounds (Quats) as antistatic additives in ESD flooring, this sequel delves into the versatile applications of Quats, spotlighting their role in wood preservation and treatment. While Quats provide a safeguard against electrostatic discharge in sensitive environments, their utility in protecting wood products from decay, pests, and moisture-related damages further exemplifies their broad applicability and effectiveness.

In wood preservation, Quats not only halt decay and infestation but also enhance moisture resistance, crucial for maintaining wood integrity.

Advanced Chemical Properties and Mechanism of Action

Quats function by integrating into the wood's cellular structure, where their antimicrobial properties disrupt the growth and survival of fungi, bacteria, and insects. This mechanism mirrors their role in ESD flooring, where they neutralize static charges, albeit with a biological twist in targeting wood pests and decay agents.

Precision Application in Wood Treatment

Integrating Quats with Wood Preservatives

Quats are seamlessly incorporated into wood preservatives during the manufacturing process, ensuring deep penetration and uniform distribution. This integration can occur in various forms, including:

  • Pressure Treatment: A highly effective method for industrial-scale wood preservation. Wood is placed in a treatment chamber where Quats are applied under high pressure, ensuring deep penetration into the wood's pores, providing long-lasting protection against decay and pests.

  • Dip Treatment: Suitable for smaller wood items, this method involves immersing wood in a Quat solution. It's a straightforward technique that ensures the wood surface and shallow depths are treated, ideal for decorative pieces or non-structural elements.

  • Surface Coating: For already installed wood or where deep penetration isn't necessary, Quats can be applied as a protective surface coating. This method is especially useful for enhancing moisture resistance and adding an additional layer of protection against surface-level threats.

Tailoring the Treatment

The choice of application method depends on the wood's intended use, environmental exposure, and specific vulnerabilities. Precision in the concentration and application technique ensures that the wood retains its natural beauty and structural integrity while being fortified against biological threats.

Benefits and Considerations

  • Long-Term Efficacy: Quats provide durable protection, extending the wood's lifespan and reducing the need for frequent maintenance or replacement.
  • Environmental Responsibility: With a lower toxicity profile than traditional preservatives, Quats align with sustainable practices, offering a more environmentally friendly choice for wood treatment.
  • Technical Application: Ensuring the effectiveness of Quats requires understanding their interaction with different wood species and treatment conditions. Technical expertise is crucial in optimizing their application for maximum protection.


The dual-use of quaternary ammonium compounds in both ESD flooring and wood preservation exemplifies their broad utility across industries. For the technically minded, the application of Quats in wood treatment offers a case study in leveraging chemical properties for material protection. 

Meet with one of our experts to discuss our portfolio of quaternary ammonium compounds suitable for wood preservation and treatment.