Boron in wood protection and biocides

Borate wood treatment ensures wood protection and preservation—effectively and cost-efficiently

Wood protection and preservation solutions for today’s engineered wood and timber products must meet a wide range of demands depending on regional environmental conditions—and regulatory requirements. Around the world, boric acid wood treatments are the top wood protection and biocide choice, universally recognized as safe and highly effective. But not all borates are equal. 

Ensuring your wood products are well protected requires using the right borate at the right concentration to achieve fire safety compliance and meet American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) borate wood protection standards. A weak or inconsistent solution can be extremely costly, damaging your products, your profits, and your reputation. Only consistent, high-quality borates can get the job done right the first time—and every time—making them significantly more cost efficient than less reliable alternatives.
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Multipurpose borates are the standard for effective wood protection 

Borates and boron compounds such as disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (DOT—Na2B8O13·4H2O ) have long been recognized for their effectiveness in protecting wood from insect damage, moisture, rot, fungi, and fire.

Protect wood from fire with boron-based flame retardant

As a fire retardant, U.S. Borax products, such as Polybor®, Optibor®, or Neobor® to suppress flaming combustion, fire glow, and smoldering, and promote char formation to slow the spread of fire.

In addition, our Firebrake® products are used in a variety of fire retardant applications.

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Reliable, long-lasting wood protection  

As a wood protectant, borate products such as Borogard® ZB and Tim-bor® Industrial are highly effective broad-spectrum wood preservatives that enable full control over moisture-induced decay and fungi such as wood rot. And they eliminate protect both solid wood and engineered wood products from pests such as termites, carpenter ants, and wood-boring beetles.  

Borate-based wood treatment for any manufacturing application

Multi-functional boron compounds are applied in solution form via spray, dip diffusion, or vacuum pressure treatment to products such as:

  • Solid wood

  • Lumber

  • Railroad crossties

  • Millwork, windows, and doors

  • Mass timber

​Water-soluble borates penetrate wood through diffusion—a process that allows the borate to completely penetrate the wood and deliver long-lasting, highly effective protection.

Borates can also be incorporated as an additive in engineered wood products such as: 
  • Plywood

  • Oriented strandboard (OSB)

  • Cross-laminated timber (CLT)

  • Wood-plastic composites (WPC)

  • Fiberboard

Learn more about how borates improve the longevity and performance of modern engineered wood construction materials.
Fungi can destroy 20-40% of WPCs’ wood component. Borate-based wood treatment provides affordable, long-lasting protection of WPCs against decay fungi.

Why work with U.S. Borax for wood protection solutions ? 

Consistent, highest quality borates

You need a consistent level of boric oxide (B2O3) for effective wood treatment in every lot you process. Unlike raw mineral borates, U.S. Borax borates go through an extensive refinement process that ensures unmatched purity, quality, and consistency of the borate compounds that go into your products. 

Our ISO 9001:2015-certified Quality Lab runs 24/7 to support continuous product testing and quality management best practices, from mine to final packaging. Titration testing helps prevent variation during processing; and once final checks are complete, lot codes ensure product traceability.
U.S. Borax technical experts are well versed in AWPA standards and can guide you to the right combination of product, rate, and application to ensure you meet or exceed industry requirements for wood protection.

Technical expertise on your side 

As you adapt to changes in products and demand, it’s good to know you have a partner who can provide guidance on specific technical details such as: 
  • Choosing the right product for your application 
  • Dilution rates 
  • Application techniques 
We can advise you on timing of product application for even distribution throughout the wood and full protection, consistency, and reliability.  

Our team can even provide analysis to determine how much borate is maintained in the wood product over time.  

Our industrial technical support team is your ready resource, bringing deep technical knowledge of our products—and a keen understanding of your business—to ensure consistency and reliability in your borate use.  

Industry memberships

U.S. Borax is proud to be an industry leader and partner
RTA Railway Tie Association logo
WWPI Western Wood Preservers Institute logo

20 Mule Team Borax Products

Recommended for wood protection

Borogard ZB logo
This cost-efficient zinc borate protects wood and wood composites from destroying organisms, rot, decay, fungi, and subterranean termites.

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Tim-bor logo
This high-performance industrial borate wood preservative is design to provide the highest concentration of boron with maximum solubility.

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Optibor logo
This multipurpose workhorse provides protection from insects, moisture, and fungi in lumber and engineered wood products.

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Recommended for fire retardancy

Firebrake logo
This unique zinc borate acts as a flame retardant, char promoter, and afterglow and smoke suppressant for lumber, plywood, and engineered wood products.

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Neobor logo
In combination with U.S. Borax boric acid, this concentrated sodium borate is highly effective at reducing flammability of cellulosic materials.

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Optibor logo
Used alone or in combination with other fire-retardancy additives, Optibor yields reliable fire test performance.

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Polybor logo
In solution form, this DOT can be applied by spray or dipping for effective treatment of lumber and engineered wood products.

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More about Borates in Wood Protection and Biocides

Dual Borate-Creosote Treatment Key to Preserving Railroad Ties
Questions have recently surfaced regarding borates’ effectiveness in preserving railroad crossties. Learn how dual treatment of borates and creosote is ... Learn More
Working on the Railroad: How Borates Protect Wood Railroad Crossties
The North American rail system runs on top of millions of wooden crossties. Borates provide wood protection that increases the service life, safety, and susta... Learn More
Are Refined Borates in Your Sustainability Plan?
Finding better ways to reduce waste and save energy are top priorities for many manufacturers. See how refined borates can help you accomplish both objectives. Learn More

U.S. Borax, part of Rio Tinto, is a global leader in the supply and science of borates—naturally-occurring minerals containing boron and other elements. We are 1,000 people serving 650 customers with more than 1,800 delivery locations globally. We supply around 30% of the world’s need for refined borates from our world-class mine in Boron, California, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.  Learn more about Rio Tinto.

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