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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2012, Article ID 969360, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/969360
Research Article

Fourier Transform Infrared Radiation Spectroscopy Applied for Wood Rot Decay and Mould Fungi Growth Detection

1SINTEF Building and Infrastructure, Department of Materials and Structures, 7465 Trondheim, Norway
2Department of Civil and Transport Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), 7491 Trondheim, Norway

Received 14 March 2012; Revised 29 May 2012; Accepted 30 May 2012

Academic Editor: John W. Gillespie

Copyright © 2012 Bjørn Petter Jelle and Per Jostein Hovde. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Material characterization may be carried out by the attenuated total reflectance (ATR) Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) radiation spectroscopical technique, which represents a powerful experimental tool. The ATR technique may be applied on both solid state materials, liquids, and gases with none or only minor sample preparations, also including materials which are nontransparent to IR radiation. This facilitation is made possible by pressing the sample directly onto various crystals, for example, diamond, with high refractive indices, in a special reflectance setup. Thus ATR saves time and enables the study of materials in a pristine condition, that is, the comprehensive sample preparation by pressing thin KBr pellets in traditional FTIR transmittance spectroscopy is hence avoided. Materials and their ageing processes, both ageing by natural and accelerated climate exposure, decomposition and formation of chemical bonds and products, may be studied in an ATR-FTIR analysis. In this work, the ATR-FTIR technique is utilized to detect wood rot decay and mould fungi growth on various building material substrates. An experimental challenge and aim is to be able to detect the wood rot decay and mould fungi growth at early stages when it is barely visible to the naked eye. Another goal is to be able to distinguish between various species of fungi and wood rot.