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Subject: Killing pests with microwaves

Killing pests with microwaves

From: Peter Juga <peter.juga<-at->
Date: Monday, January 16, 2012
David Cottier-Angeli <dca [at] cottiermetal__ch> writes

>Would someone have scientific references and more general
>information on suggested technologies to kill some historical
>building wood beam pests? ...
>...
>The now suggested method is to uses microwaves (frequencies between
>300 MHz (0.3 GHz) and 300 GHz) set to heat up to 60 deg. C.

Several years ago I witnessed an experiment on attempted application
of microwaves for drying of wet paper as a possible after-flood
solution. The result was immediate and of worrying nature. Paper was
bone dry with no doubt. The 18mm MDF tabletop on which paper was
treated by microwave cannon was reduced in thickness by 3-4mm within
a half of the minute. Not quite sure of microwave beam parameters
but I would certainly do some serious tests on similarly aged and of
similar thickness pieces of wood prior to applying it to building
construction woodwork.

My thinking here is based on the fact that microwave would
differently affect moisture on different depths. Not mentioning the
fact that first it would affect areas of highest moisture content.
So in order to heat up to 60 degrees a wooden beam of some
considerate thickness there is a high chance for variable heating
effect throughout the woodwork.

Not quite sure what beetle you are trying to fight but it is worth
considering would radiation affect equally eggs as adult forms as
well?

And quoting my microbiology professor if you can not kill insects
with 100% certainty how long it is going to take them to bring their
numbers back to beginning?

Peter Juga
Conservator
Seven Stories
Gateshead
United Kingdom


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                  Conservation DistList Instance 25:34
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Received on Monday, 16 January, 2012

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