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Timberlink and Lonza – a look back at the sweet smell of innovation.

July 2nd 2019

The development of Timberlink Green Low Odour timber products and Lonza Vacsol® Azure Low Odour preservative is still a great example of how listening to customers and developing collaborative partnerships results in true innovations and helps ensure our industry will grow well into the future.

Low Odour

Light Organic Solvent Preservative (LOSP) is a proven and highly effective preservative treatment used to protect wood used in external, above ground applications. LOSP is now Australia’s preferred treatment for outdoor structural H3 pine, with more than 75% of the industry choosing LOSP over other treatments.

While customers have always appreciated the dimensional stability and appearance of LOSP, the odour has sometimes been an issue. LOSP treated timber has a petroleum-like smell, and while it dissipates over time and is perfectly safe, the smell is nevertheless unpleasant for timber merchants’ staff and is often detectable by customers in store.

Timberlink wanted to address this customer problem and so Trevor Innes, the General Manager Technical & Sustainability at Timberlink ANZ approached Lonza with a challenge; to develop a low odour version of their successful Vacsol® Azure LOSP treatment preservative.

Lonza works in partnership with wood processors and manufacturers throughout the Asia Pacific region to preserve, protect and enhance the durability and resilience of wood products, and is a renowned innovator in this space.

A band-aid solution that just covered up symptoms wasn’t going to be enough to give Timberlink’s customers an improved product experience. Lonza was committed to creating a genuinely low odour LOSP H3 treated timber product by addressing odour issue at the source. The development process took 12 months and required dedicated effort from the Lonza R&D team based in Australia, including formulation work, efficacy testing, compatibility testing and numerous treatment trials for Australian conditions.

The result of this process was the creation of Timberlink Green Low Odour timber products, which are preservative treated with Lonza’s Vacsol® Azure Low Odour formulation. There are no performance differences between Vacsol® Azure and Vacsol® Azure Low Odour. It contains the same preservative actives, but with a new proprietary and patented carrier system which has 30x less odour.

Timberlink was the first manufacturer in Australia to introduce Vacsol Azure Low Odour H3 treated timber (Timberlink Green) – providing the market with the preferred LOSP treated timber but without the unpleasant smell. The low odour product improvement was launched back in the spring of 2015, and has realised continued growth to become one of the preferred options in outdoor treated structural timber in the Australian market.

The development of Timberlink Green Low Odour timber products and Lonza Vacsol® Azure Low Odour preservative is a great example of how listening to customers and developing collaborative partnerships results in true innovations and helps ensure our industry will grow well into the future.