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Everything You Need to Know About Creosote Treated Poles

Creosote treated poles are the best options for fencing, shaded verandas and any construction project that will experience considerable exposure to weather and other factors that could decay the wood. TWK Agri explains how these poles are made and why they are so important for a wide variety of construction projects.

Key Facts of Creosote Treated Poles

From the poles used for electricity and telephony cables to the framework for patio shades, creosote treated poles are common inputs in a variety of construction projects. You may have used them in your own projects. At the very least, you have probably seen them around you every day. But how much do you know about these important building materials? Here are the key facts about creosote treated poles.

Read our blog for more information on South Africa’s timber industry

What Is Creosote?

The treated poles so commonly used in construction are usually made of some variety of hardwood, which is then treated with an oily varnish, called creosote. Creosote is a dark brown carbonaceous chemical. It comes in the form of an oil containing various phenols and other organic compounds. These compounds give it its preservative properties. The substance is distilled from coal tar and other fossil fuels.

How Are Poles Treated With Creosote?

Poles are usually treated with creosote through a full cell process, which is generally carried out as follows:

  • The poles are placed in a large treatment vessel, which is then sealed.

  • A machine draws all the air out of the treatment vessel, creating a vacuum inside it.

  • The creosote is then introduced into the vessel without changing the interior pressure.

  • Once the cylinder is filled to capacity, hydraulic pressure is applied, until the creosote is fully absorbed into the wood.

  • The pressure is released, and excess creosote is then drained off.

  • A final vacuum is then applied to remove any excess oil to prevent any excess dripping.

What Are Creosote Treated Poles Used For?

These poles are used in any situation where they will need to stand for an extended period and survive any and all elements that might rot the wood. These include weather, insects, fungi, etc.

Learn More About Timber Industry at TWK Agri

Learn more about the timber industries, as well as other agricultural products and sub sectors in South Africa, at TWK Agri. Contact us for more information.

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