As New Zealand’s largest lumber exporter to markets like Korea, Sequal has always had an excellent partnership with Lonza in our anti-sap stain treatment process and over the summer of 2017, our continuous improvement partnership will upgrade this process even further.
Treating green lumber to survive the rain in New Zealand as well as the humidity of its destination markets can be a real challenge. Sequal has always prided itself on its treatment success rate but has recognised the need to take the anti-sap stain treatment of green lumber in New Zealand to another level.
The current process see’s Sequal spraying every piece of lumber with an anti-sap stain chemical called Antiblue Combo, a product of Lonza. It works well and really is the only anti-sap stain chemical treatment that has proven success internationally.
This summer Sequal will install a second treatment solution which, when combined with the existing process, will be truly world class.
The process is going to look like this:
- Every piece of green lumber will be first sprayed, in the mill, with a new chemical that will give the lumber an initial protective coating to stop the early development of sap stain.
- After the lumber is stacked into packets, each packet will be dipped into the dip tank (as per above picture) holding a new generation of encapsulated chemical, developed by Lonza, to give each packet long life.
Encapsulation gives the chemical both a great life span as well as making it even safer for human contact. Also, spraying each board individually and then dipping each packet enables us to optimise the protective coverage.
Another benefit from the changes is that our kiln dried product will no longer be sprayed with Antiblue Combo (which browns in the sun). This spray was never needed for kiln dried lumber and only served to “brown” our dry product. Once the changes are made we will therefore be able to deliver a much whiter kiln dried product to our furniture customers throughout Asia, along with an even better protected green product to our packaging markets.
That’s great news for everyone.
There’s a bunch of other changes and improvements also being made over Christmas. More info to follow.