KINGSPORT, TN - Eastman Chemical announced the launch of Perennial Wood, a new brand line of Southern Pine lumber acetylation modified with heat, pressure and organic compounds for endurance and protection. It is milled and processed in the U.S.
Eastman says that Perennial Wood will now be available for use in furniture manufacture, promoting it for outdoor furniture lines. Produced with a proprietary process called TruLast, it was shown at the 2012 International Builders' Show last week in Orlando, where the Perennial Wood line was demonstrated for flooring and decking.
The Empire Company, a subsidiary of Tenon Limited (NZX:TEN), will act as Eastman’s exclusive distribution partner for Perennial Wood decking into Lowe’s stores in New England beginning in this quarter. About 100 Lowe's stores will carry it, as well as other select outlets.
The TruLast technology uses heat, pressure and an organic compound to modify the wood to stand up to the elements, resisting changes from moisture and remaining dimensionally stable for decades, according to Eastman.
The modification permanently transforms the wood’s cellular structure, with water-loving (hydrophilic) groups in the wood’s cells replaced with water-hating (hydrophobic) groups. It is warranted to protect against rot, decay and movement for 25 years.
"Perennial Wood stays truer-to-form than teak when subjected to the elements, demonstrating greater dimensional stability," said Brant Mitchell, market development manager for Perennial Wood furniture applications. Mitchell cites third party testing that backs the claims.
Perennial Wood, which has characteristics in common with thermally modified wood and wood odified with the acetylation process, cuts, mills and works like conventional wood, so manufacturers won’t need special tools or machines to work with it, says Eastman. It has 25 percent greater surface hardness, and is three times more resistant to shrinking and swelling than unmodified wood, the company says.
Eastman says it will provide technical assistance on finishing and coating to furniture manufacturers who want to use Perennial Wood. It can be coated with traditional wood coating systems; Eastman says because it is a dimensionally stable substrate, improved performance has been noted with some opaque coatings systems.
Eastman says it is accepting inquiries from furniture manufacturers interested in incorporating Perennial Wood into their outdoor furniture offerings, and is collaborating with a designer, Eric Pfeiffer, to create furniture collections specifically designed to exhibit the wood’s beauty, durability and function. Eastman and Pfeiffer will be working with manufacturers to produce the collections, which they expect to be available to retailers in the fall of 2012.
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