3 reasons why NOT to purchase thermally modified Black Locust

April 23, 2024

Compare natural Black Locust with thermally modified Black Locust by the impact on the environment, quality, durability, and cost.

Why purchase a product that is bad for the environment, poor in quality, and hard on your pocket? Why would you change what nature has done naturally? Our blog compares characteristics of natural Black Locust lumber vs. thermally modified Black Locust products. Keep your Black Locust Decking and Proflow Permeable Paving system sustainable. Here’s how and why. 

Thermally modified Black Locust impact on the environment…

Sustainability should be at the core of our choices. Materials we use for the built environment affect our daily lives. Our choices are crucial to both the environment and our personal health and wellbeing.

Thermally modified wood in its production method is an unsustainable material choice. Its carbon footprint is extremely high due to the intensive energy usage to attain the Thermal modification of the Black Locust lumber. Also, there are other complications, further manufacturing processes, that increase the carbon footprint.

There are 6 methods to produce thermally modified wood. They all require the use of extremely high temperatures, some as high as 190 C = 374 F. These methods all require that the initial moisture content is at 12% or less. These processes not only increase the Carbon Footprint, but also the time involved, and most importantly, increases the cost.

The biggest disadvantage of the thermally modified process is that the strength of the Black Locust, by this process, is decreased as a result of these extremely high temperatures.

Also, the bending strength is reduced by up to 30%, and the higher the treatment temperature, the further it will reduce the bending strength.

This modification of thermally modifying Black Locust, will also reduce the anti-microbial properties of the wood.

Quality of Natural vs Thermally modified Black Locust

How long do natural Black Locust and thermally modified Black Locust last? Durability is a significantly important aspect to take into consideration when selecting lumber material for your project.

Thermally modified wood has a lifespan of 20 years, while natural Black Locust Lumber lasts 50+ years. Thermally modified Black Locust will require constant treatment for mold. 

Black Locust lumber, left unmodified, has natural rot-resistance and natural anti-fungal properties without the help of toxic chemicals and any modifications to the Black Locust Lumber. In fact, no oils, stains, or sealants are required to maintain the wood’s natural beauty. 

Cost of natural vs thermally modified Black Locust

In a closing statement, it goes against common sense to thermally modify Black Locust. A hardwood that is already naturally rot-resistant and has antifungal properties. Thermally modifying Black Locust lumber through this modification process will only result in an unnecessary environmental impact and a more expensive product in the end! Be a good steward of the natural environment and your wallet! Stay natural, keep it clean and green…

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