Aging ironwork? Rusting steel? Nope: it's MDF for outdoor use
40 foot Riveted Beam (detail) Broomhill Sculpture Park, North Devon MDF Tricoya, plaster, paint, iron powder, concrete

Large scale installations by Alexander Devereux for a sculptural parks in the North East of England, inspired by famous bridges in the region, were fabricated from Tricoya, a specialized MDF for outdoor use.

Devereux used Tricoya MDF on several projects. Unlike ordinary MDF, which is susceptible to swelling and breakdown even from ambient humidity indoors, Tricoya MDF has an outdoor useful life of 50 years, owing to its treatment with the acetylation process. Mounted outdoors as well as indoors, Devereux's works can be seen at England's Cheesburn Sculpture Park's permanent collection; and at Broomhill Sculpture Park in North Devon. 

Tyne Hill Bridge Hinge Cheeseburn Sculpture Park MDF Tricoya, plaster and iron powder (3.5m x 3.5m x 1.5m) 
To get the aging metal effect, Devereaux slathered plaster and iron powder onto the Tricoya. A hinge detail measuring 3.5m x 3.5m x 1.5m at shows the stunning effect. 

Devereux modeled the pieces after the original 19th century ironwork, drawing inspiration from the rivet patterns, which were both utilitarian, and decorative.  

Tyne Hill Bridge Hinge Cheeseburn Sculpture Park MDF Tricoya, plaster and iron powder (3.5m x 3.5m x 1.5m) 
Tricoya is manufactured by Irish forest products firm Coilte, in its Medite unit, in partnership with BP - which makes the chemistry used in aceylation - and Accys Technologies, which produces Accoya solid wood made from radiata pine and otther lumber using the acetylation process.
Accsys Technologies’ proprietary patented process converts softwoods and non-durable hardwoods into what has been described as a "high technology wood." It is specified on projects ranging from historic window restorations to pedestrian bridges and waterfront structures, offerings durability and dimensional stability.  
Tricoya MDF panels ( are made using wood chips that receive the acetylation process before milling into panel. They are lightweight, sustainable and offer a 50 year above ground and 25 year in ground guarantee, revolutionizing the opportunities presented to architects, specifiers, designers and home owners.
The Tricoya wood fibers that have gone through a modification process called acetylation, similar to Accoya wood, alters the cell structure of the wood rendering wood more dimensionally stable. Like Accoya wood, Tricoya panels are an not recognizable as a food source for insects, and it prevents fungal decay.  
Tricoya was launched to the U.S. market at the 2017 AWFS Fair in Las Vegas. During a live streaming presentation, a New Jersey garage door fabricator, Gary Zacchia from Architectural Door Corporation, demonstrated the techniques he used to build garage doors with Tricoya MDF panel, and showed doors he had installed during the past year. 
The artist Alexander Devereux (above) took his MA in  Creative Entrepreneurship from the University of East Anglia, Norwich and London, UK in 2016; and received a BA in Sculpture, at Camberwell College of Arts, London, UK, in 2014. 
Alexander Devereux

40ft Riveted Beam Broomhill Sculpture Park, North Devon MDF Tricoya, plaster, paint, iron powder, concrete


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About the author
Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.