Targeting termites with Hybeam

Termites are tiny agents of doom and destruction — but Hybeam engineered “I” joists, available from CHH futurebuild, contain an insecticide within the glue line for everlasting protection…

New Hybeam joists from CHH futurebuild are termite killers

Most people associate widespread building damage with catastrophic events like cyclones and wildfires, but termites pose a much costlier threat ($80million per annum) to Australian properties.

CHH futurebuild, a Carter Holt Harvey company, has come up with a novel solution to termite damage with its range of laminated timber products, including Hybeam I-joists. Bifenthrin, an insect-killing agent, is mixed with glue during joist fabrication to offer protection in all above-ground flooring and framing applications. This insecticide provides termite resistance equivalent to AS1604 Hazard Level 2 (H2) for all of Australia south of the tropic of Capricorn. It also conforms to the NSW Timber Marketing Act and the Queensland Timber Utilisation and Marketing Act.

While some treated timbers rely on spray infusion technologies or other surface treatments, the Hybeam system locks its active ingredient within the body of the joist, removing the need to re-spray exposed areas that might suffer from harsh weathering. These advantages are of obvious interest to property owners, however builders have equally strong incentives to use Hybeam products. Instead of having to treat freshly cut or drilled sections of joists on site, the Hybeam glued construction means no further treatment is required after sawing. This saves time as well as expense, and also removes the hazard of dealing with toxic chemicals around busy worksites.

According to Denis Tosin, futurebuild’s Australian Market Manager, his company’s “latest innovation in the Hybeam H2 treated I-Joist comes after many years of requests from the building industry to provide a solution for termites.”

“There are several great innovative solutions available such as Granitgard, Termimesh, even reticulation systems, along with several chemical barriers with most requiring careful attention to installation or maintenance. Unfortunately, termites can enter from the most unusual areas and it is common for them to enter via service penetrations made for pipes and wiring.

“Our Hybeam H2 treated I-Joist is not so much a brand new invention, but given that it has a preservative added to the glue line it is treated to the core, so to speak. In general, I believe that we mould and shape our products closely to the needs of the builder, architect and designer, and also make it easier for stockists to handle our products.”

Laboratory tests prove…
Jim Creffield, scientist for CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products, has conducted a series of laboratory and field trials on Hybeam H2.

“Hybeam performed exceptionally well against Coptotermes acinaciformis, Australia’s most economically important species of subterranean termite, in both the CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products laboratory as well as in the field in the Tropics of the Northern Territory,” explains Jim. “The glue used in the manufacture of Hybeam H2 contains the insecticide bifenthrin, [which] has already proven to be a successful soil termiticide. It is used in some household insect sprays and in many commercial agricultural applications, so to see it now being applied as a glue line treatment of wood products is an exciting development.”

Hybeam products are sealed with a bright yellow, water resistant coating for moisture protection and easy identification on-site.

For more information visit www.chhfuturebuild.com.au.

By John Power