Seminar Title: Southern Yellow Pine (Pinus spp.) Pole Resource Survey
Abstract: The Southern Pressure Treaters’ Association (SPTA) is an organization that is made up of industrial wood preservers located east of the Rocky Mountains who produce industrial 3 preservative-treated wood products that are critical to the United States electrical, transportation, and industrial infrastructure. Due to the recent de-rating of the strength values of southern yellow pine (SYP) (Pinus spp.) lumber by the American Lumber Standards Committee, the producers of SYP poles wanted to conduct testing of the SYP pole resource to confirm that the strength values for SYP poles shown in ANSI O5.1, the national standard for wood poles, were still valid. SPTA conducted full-size destructive testing in cooperation with the Mississippi State University Forest Products Laboratory to obtain strength values for untreated green southern yellow pine poles following the cantilever test method in the ASTM D 1036 standard specified for the development of strength values by ANSI O5.1. These green poles were randomly selected from stock obtained throughout the SYP production range of eight States, TX, AR, LA, MS, AL, GA, SC, and NC. Poles were placed in a fixture and a transverse load was applied and measured until failure. Measurements of horizontal deflection and longitudinal movement of the load point were recorded during each test. Based on the measured breaking loads, computations of the modulus of rupture (MOR), and the modulus of elasticity (MOE) were made. These green MOR strength values were adjusted downward for the strength reduction associated with conditioning prior to treatment in accordance with ANSI O5.1. The adjusted MOR strength value was above the 8000 psi value found in ANSI O5.1 for SYP. Although the average rate of growth of the test specimens was much higher than that of the specimens tested in the 1960’s the limitations in the ANSI O5.1 standard on growth rate and summerwood percentage in each piece performed their intended function of ensuring that the poles produced to the standard today still exhibit the historic 8000 psi MOR strength attributed to SYP poles.
Dr. Kevin Ragon is the current executive director of the Southern Pressure Treaters’ Association (SPTA). SPTA is an organization that is made up of industrial wood preservers located east of the Rocky Mountains who produce industrial preservative-treated wood products that are critical to the United States electrical, transportation, and industrial infrastructure. Kevin has 14 years of experience in wood protection, both industrial and academic, where he has various publications and patents. He holds degrees in Forestry, Environmental Science, and Wood Science. Kevin completed his Ph.D. in Wood Science from Mississippi State University, Post Doctorial work at MSU and Louisiana State University where he became a research professor. Kevin’s research was focused on wood deterioration and the Formosan subterranean termite. He has received various awards for academic achievement, community service and entrepreneurship. Kevin’s research interests are wood deterioration, historic preservation, testing methodologies, and environmental issues as related to wood. Kevin is a member of several professional wood related organizations that focus on issues in wood preservation.