Timber solutions

 

Timber is one of the world’s most versatile and stunning natural resources. Each species possesses its own specific texture, colour, grain and growth pattern, with further variations found across species when grown in different countries and climates. As with any natural resource, timber comes with its own host of challenges and as a company in the business of overcoming challenges, CUTEK® offers solutions to many of these.

What is your biggest concern?

  • Warping, cupping and splitting

    Timber is prone to warping, cupping and splitting which is primarily caused by uneven changes of moisture content in the wood.

    Warping occurs when different parts of a wood piece absorb or lose moisture unevenly, leading to distortions like bowing or twisting.

    Cupping happens when there’s a moisture content disparity between the top and bottom surfaces of the timber, causing it to bend into a cup-like shape.

    Splitting is often due to rapid drying, where the outer layers shrink faster than the inner ones, creating internal tension that results in cracks or splits.

    Wood is hygroscopic, and can absorb water as a liquid, if in contact with it, or in the form of vapour from the surrounding atmosphere.

    Moisture can be present due to rainfall, humidity, dew, snow, to name a few.

    To minimise the effects of moisture within timber, CUTEK® timber oils diffuse deep into the wood to actively displace and protect against moisture from the inside out. It is important to understand that it is the free exchange of liquid and gas phase moisture between wood and the environment that contributes to splitting, warping and cupping.

    Please note, timber must be completely dry, with a moisture percentage of 17% or less, prior to being coated with CUTEK® oils.

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  • Dimensional stability // Keeping timber straight

    As a natural resource, timber can be affected by its environment, especially moisture, which can affect its dimensional stability.

    Timber shrinkage and swelling are the result of its hygroscopic behaviour, where wood fibres absorb moisture from the air (adsorption) or release it (desorption), influenced by the relative humidity and temperature of the environment.

    The cellular structure of wood, composed of cell walls and cavities, plays a central role in this process. When the cell walls absorb moisture, they expand, causing the wood to swell, and as they lose moisture, they contract, leading to shrinkage.

    Wood’s anisotropic nature means it responds differently along its different axes, with the greatest changes occurring tangentially, less so radially, and least along the longitudinal axis. Managing these factors is crucial in woodworking and construction to minimise the dimensional instability of wood products in service.

    Once diffused into timber, CUTEK® timber oils will stabilise the timber by controlling free moisture exchange between the coated timber and the environment.  Because CUTEK® is self-healing, this protection is permanent even if timber is damaged cut or perforated with fasteners. The result is improved dimensional stability, structural integrity and an extended service life.

     

     

  • Easy maintenance

    Timber is often used as a feature in residential and commercial builds where heavy foot-traffic occurs. To make matters more difficult, timber is a porous material which means that when it has been coated, the coating can be difficult to maintain.

    Where film-forming coatings often require stripping and sanding to remove, the ease of CUTEK® coated timber is that it does not need to be sanded or stripped to apply a maintenance coat of oil. Simply wash, wait to dry, and reapply according to the provided instructions.

     

  • Keeping timber clean and beautiful

    As a stunning yet functional feature exposed to a variety of elements, timber will periodically need to be cleaned to be shown at its best.

    Timber coated in CUTEK® repels water, meaning that washing timber won’t result in water-damage. CUTEK® Quickclean is the perfect way to regularly keep all your wood clean, and it prepares wood to optimise the performance of maintenance coats of CUTEK® oil. It will easily remove dirt, grease and grime from your outside surfaces as well as even out CUTEK® Colourtone that has started to wear or rode unevenly on your wood.

    Note: CUTEK® Quickclean is a concentrate that should be diluted with water; the dilution will vary depending on the build-up of dirt or grease on the surface.

     

  • Colour retention

    Timber is naturally beautiful with stunning colours and grain features, but in a bid to protect timber from extreme environments, these features can soon disappear behind coatings. Similarly, exposure to UV rays can quickly lighten and silver timber, regardless of clear oil being applied. At CUTEK®, we want to highlight and retain timber’s natural beauty.

    When seeking to retain the natural colour of a timber, CUTEK® offers a variety of Colourtones which complement and enhance the natural colour of a variety of timber species. This allows timber to retain its freshly oiled look long after the oil dries. CUTEK® also offers Colourtones which alter the colour of timber to suit design needs while still providing powerful protection.

    For examples of this, visit our CUTEK® Colourtones page and explore our Colourtone Visualiser.

     

  • Wood Restoration

    While some resources are single use only, timber can be reclaimed, restored, revived, and made into something new with a little bit of help.

    Wood’s ability to be repurposed makes it both environmentally sustainable and aesthetically appealing. Its versatility and durability lend well to various applications, from furniture to construction. Repurposing wood reduces waste and the need for new materials, aiding in environmental conservation. Furthermore, the unique character and history of repurposed wood adds a distinct charm, making it a popular choice in design and crafts, highlighting its practical and artistic value.

    CUTEK® Restore is a powerful timber cleaning agent that restores stained, weathered and grey wood back to its original appearance. It is effective in removing stubborn stains caused by tannins, water, iron, mould and fungus from timber. CUTEK® Restore will also brighten, clean and restore wood to look like new, ready for a fresh coat of CUTEK® oil.

     

  • Fungal decay, termite and rot protection

    Fungi and termites are one of the most difficult timber challenges to combat, but coating timber with a protective oil can help to mitigate the effect.

    Termites and fungal decay in wood are primarily driven by the presence of moisture and the organic nature of wood. Termites feed on cellulose, a key component of wood, and are particularly attracted to moist or decaying wood, which is easier for them to digest. Fungal decay, on the other hand, occurs when wood’s moisture content exceeds 20%, providing an ideal environment for fungi to break down the wood’s cellulose and lignin, crucial for its structural strength.

    CUTEK® wanted to provide the best possible protection against fungi and termites and so offer CUTEK® Wood Preservative. CUTEK® Wood Preservative is an oil-based wood stabiliser used for the pre-treatment and remedial treatment of exterior wood in industrial and domestic situations. CUTEK® Wood Preservative coated timber resists damage caused by fungal decay, mould, termites and moisture, improving dimensional stability and minimising warping, cupping and splitting.

    For more information about CUTEK® Wood Preservative and its creation, head to https://www.cutek.com.au/cutek-wood-preservative-the-making-of/