BRIMSTONE PRODUCTS

INTRODUCING BRIMSTONE WOOD

Brimstone is British-grown wood that has been super heated in a Jartek kiln to create an extremely stable and durable product, ideal for outdoor cladding, decking and furniture.

With no chemicals or treatments used in the process, Brimstone is entirely natural. It currently includes three thermally modified woods (TMW or TMT): ash, sycamore and poplar – all fast-growing and plentiful in British woodlands, making Brimstone a perfect locally-grown alternative to tropical hardwoods and other old growth species.

OUR ETHOS

The purpose of Brimstone wood is to use technology to create a technical and competitively-priced range of external timber products that use only raw material grown in well-managed British woodlands. By creating a larger market for plentiful, but underutilised white hardwoods, we aim to incentivise better woodland management in British broadleaf woodlands.

THE BRIMSTONE STORY

Brimstone wood was born out of the need to find ways to reverse the decline in the use of British-grown hardwoods and the associated decline in woodland management.

It is estimated that over 60% of British mixed woodlands are either under-managed or completely unmanaged. The problem cannot be solved at Government level because the majority of broadleaf woodlands are in private hands. The logical solution is to stimulate demand for woodland products, creating a financial incentive for land owners to manage their woodlands.

In 2015 a major feasibility study was undertaken by BRE in collaboration with Grown in Britain, Timber Strategies, Vastern Timber and Tyler Hardwoods, to investigate thermal modification of British hardwoods. The findings were clear: ‘Thermal modification represents the perfect opportunity to dramatically increase the use of white hardwoods and transform the management of British broadleaf woodlands.’

Brimstone wood launches at Ecobuild 2016

ABOUT GROWN IN BRITAIN

All hardwood logs used in the Brimstone wood production process are sourced from woodlands which meet the Grown in Britain criteria for sustainable management. As an organisation Grown in Britain is dedicated to creating new sustainably-managed woodland in the UK to increase the supply of British timber destined for use by local people and businesses.

To find more about Grown in Britain click here.

Grown in Britain

BENEFITS

Sustains and improves local woodlands

Sustains and improves local woodlands

Naturally durable

Naturally durable

More stable than non-modified wood

More stable than
non-modified wood

No extractives

No extractives

No added chemicals

No added chemicals

USES

EXTERNAL CLADDING

Being stable, durable and lightweight, Brimstone products are ideal for external timber cladding. Because thermally modified wood is free from extractives, Brimstone wood cladding will weather more evenly than non-modified wood, and with less of the unsightly staining often seen on species such as cedar and oak.

HARDWOOD DECKING

Brimstone ash is perfectly suited to outdoor decking applications. The improved hardness, stability and durability make thermally modified ash a viable alternative to tropical hardwoods such as Ipe. Brimstone poplar and sycamore are not suitable for decking.

OUTDOOR FURNITURE

All three Brimstone species are suitable for use in external joinery and furniture. Being very stable and free from extractives Brimstone wood performs well out in the elements. However be aware that all thermally modified wood is brittle and will resist water based glues and treatments.

SPECIFICATIONS

Brimstone wood is available in standard decking and cladding sections from stock and in a wider array of sizes to order.

The maximum thickness available is 50mm sawn and 45mm machined. Brimstone wood is commonly offered as a random length product. Fixed length specifications may be available to order.

BRIMSTONE WOOD PRODUCTS

The Brimstone range includes three thermally modified hardwood species, all of which are grown in British woodlands.

Brimstone Ash logo

Perfect for cladding, decking and furniture. Being the hardest of the Brimstone range, thermally modified ash is suited to the widest range of applications. Ideal for cladding, decking and furniture, Brimstone ash has a dark chocolate-brown colour while retaining the strong grain of natural ash.

BRIMSTONE ASH

Produced from ash (Fraxinus excelsior) grown in English and Welsh woodlands, Brimstone ash is the most popular product in the range. The pronounced grain and dark chocolate colour (think 70% cocoa) of Brimstone ash offers a locally grown alternative to tropical hardwoods.

Thermally modified ash has already gained popularity in the UK, although until now, it has all originated from the US and mainland Europe. Brimstone ash is the first British thermally modified ash product. Brimstone ash compares favourably on both price and quality with imported products and is available in a wider range of formats and profiles.

Being the hardest and strongest of the Brimstone range, the thermally modified ash is suited to the widest variety of end uses. Brimstone ash is an ideal option for external cladding, decking and outdoor furniture.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

TRADE NAME

Brimstone ash

BASE TIMBER

English ash

SPECIES

Fraxinus Exclesior

PROCESS

Thermal modification. 210 degrees centigrade.

ORIGIN

Legal and well-managed forests in England and Wales.

INTENDED USE

External cladding

OTHER USES

Decking, external joinery and furniture

APPEARANCE

Consistent dark chocolate brown colouring with a clearly defined grain pattern. The colour is further enhanced by the application of a clear oil such as Osmo UV resistant oil.

WEATHERING

The modification process removes most natural extractives resulting in relatively consistent weathering largely free of staining. Weathering to a grey colour occurs more quickly than on non-modified timber.

PROFILES

All machined profiles

DIMENSIONS

20 x 95mm, 20 x 120mm, 20 x 145mm

LENGTHS

Random. 1.5 – 3.0mt+

MOISTURE CONTENT

2-4% (Moisture content is stable in exterior conditions)

NATURAL DURABILITY (EN350-2)

Durable* Class 2 (Based on European testing)

INSECT ATTACK

Thermally modified wood is resistant to insect attack when used above ground contact.

DESIRED SERVICE LIFE (BS8417)

Occasionally wet 60 yrs*
Frequently wet 30 yrs*

Treatability class

Resistant

Movement class*

Small

Resistance to impact*

Medium to high

Resistance to fixing

High. Modified wood is brittle and should be treated with care.

When to fix

Year round. Very stable in all conditions.

Grading

BS1186-3 1990 Class 1. EN942:2007. J20. CE grade A. Clean with a few small sound knots.

Working properties

Thermally modified woods are more brittle than untreated wood. Care should be taken when cutting and nailing to prevent chipping and break out. Pre-drilling is advised. Test glues before large-scale use. Water based glues do not work well. PU glues have tested well. Otherwise treat as a normal hardwood.

Extractives

The modification process involves no chemicals and any natural chemicals in the wood are removed during the process. Thermally modified wood can be treated as inert.

Emission of formaldehyde (EN14915)

E1 (Not significant)

Reaction to fire (EN14915)

Euroclass F (Untested). D-s2, d0

Fire treatment

Untested

CE compliant

Yes

*Brimstone products will be tested in 2017 to establish accurate data for durability, stability and strength. For now we base our information on European and American testing of similar products.

While the utmost care has been taken to provide accurate information, Vastern Timber shall not be held responsible for any consequences arising from any errors or omissions on this website nor for any damages resulting from the use of the information.

Brimstone Sycamore logo

Perfect for cladding and furniture. The natural characteristics of sycamore and its silky grain make Brimstone sycamore an extremely attractive option for cladding and furniture (although as a softer wood it is not suitable for decking applications).

BRIMSTONE SYCAMORE

Normally prized for its creamy white colour and rippled grain, British sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) is an ideal specie for thermal modification. The tree grows like a weed, adding volume quicker than any other hardwood specie in our native woodlands, and is widely available.

Brimstone sycamore is paler in colour than both ash and poplar (think 40% cocoa). The surface is silky and the grain is noticeable, especially on the crown cut boards. The natural ripple in the grain is accentuated by the modification process, resulting in a beautiful visual effect.

Brimstone sycamore makes stunning cladding boards and is also well suited to furniture and joinery applications.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

TRADE NAME

Brimstone Sycamore

BASE TIMBER

English sycamore

SPECIES

Acer pseudoplatanus

PROCESS

Thermal modification. 210 degrees centigrade.

ORIGIN

Legal and well-managed forests in England and Wales.

INTENDED USE

External cladding

OTHER USES

External joinery and furniture

APPEARANCE

Consistent light chocolate brown colouring with a silky grain pattern. The colour is further enhanced by the application of a clear oil such as Osmo UV resistant oil.

WEATHERING

The modification process removes most natural extractives resulting in relatively consistent weathering largely free of staining. Weathering to a grey colour occurs more quickly than on non-modified timber.

PROFILES

All machined profiles

DIMENSIONS

20 x 70mm, 20 x 95mm, 20 x 145mm

LENGTHS

Random. 1.5 – 3.0mt+

MOISTURE CONTENT

2-4% (Moisture content is stable in exterior conditions)

NATURAL DURABILITY (EN350-2)

Durable* Class 2 (Based on European testing)

INSECT ATTACK

Thermally modified wood is resistant to insect attack when used above ground contact.

DESIRED SERVICE LIFE (BS8417)

Occasionally wet 60 yrs*
Frequently wet 30 yrs*

Treatability class

Resistant

Movement class*

Small

Resistance to impact*

Medium

Resistance to fixing

High. Modified wood is brittle and should be treated with care.

When to fix

Year round. Very stable in all conditions.

Grading

BS1186-3 1990 Class 1. EN942:2007. J20. CE grade A. Clean with a few small sound knots.

Working properties

Thermally modified woods are more brittle than untreated wood. Care should be taken when cutting and nailing to prevent chipping and break out. Pre-drilling is advised. Test glues before large-scale use. Water based glues do not work well. PU glues have tested well. Otherwise treat as a normal hardwood.

Extractives

The modification process involves no chemicals and any natural chemicals in the wood are removed during the process. Thermally modified wood can be treated as inert.

Emission of formaldehyde (EN14915)

E1 (Not significant)

Reaction to fire (EN14915)

Euroclass F (Untested). D-s2, d0

Fire treatment

Untested

CE compliant

Yes

*Brimstone products will be tested in 2017 to establish accurate data for durability, stability and strength. For now we base our information on European and American testing of similar products.

While the utmost care has been taken to provide accurate information, Vastern Timber shall not be held responsible for any consequences arising from any errors or omissions on this website nor for any damages resulting from the use of the information.

Brimstone Poplar logo

Perfect for cladding. Being the cheapest and most plentiful Brimstone wood, thermally modified poplar is our most popular product. The wood is lightweight and the grain is silky, making it ideal for cladding (although its soft, brittle nature makes it unsuitable for furniture or decking).

BRIMSTONE POPLAR

Poplar is an extremely useful tree. As it grows, the tree absorbs and dissipates huge volumes of water and locks up many tonnes of carbon in its mighty stem. Now plentiful due to a lack of match and paper making in the UK, poplar is a raw material looking for a use.

The thermal modification process cures two of poplar’s biggest problems – instability and liability to rot when left outside. Brimstone poplar is both stable and durable.

Thermally modified poplar is a dark brown colour (think 60% cocoa) and has a smooth silky appearance. The timber is relatively knot free apart from distinctive patterns of small pinhead sized knots.

Being the softest of the three Brimstone products the poplar is not suitable for decking and may not be suitable for some furniture and joinery applications. However Brimstone poplar is the cheapest of the Brimstone range, at a price point well below that of Canadian cedar, making it an ideal choice for contemporary cladding installations.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

TRADE NAME

Brimstone Poplar

BASE TIMBER

English poplar

SPECIES

Populus (Hybrid)

PROCESS

Thermal modification. 210 degrees centigrade.

ORIGIN

Legal and well-managed forests in England and Wales.

INTENDED USE

External cladding

OTHER USES

External joinery and furniture

APPEARANCE

Consistent dark chocolate brown colouring with a silky grain pattern and regular birds eye pips. The colour is further enhanced by the application of a clear oil such as Osmo UV resistant oil.

WEATHERING

The modification process removes most natural extractives resulting in relatively consistent weathering largely free of staining. Weathering to a grey colour occurs more quickly than on non-modified timber. When wet Brimstone poplar returns to a walnut colour.

PROFILES

All machined profiles

DIMENSIONS

20 x 70mm, 20 x 95mm, 20 x 145mm

LENGTHS

Random. 1.5 – 3.0mt+

MOISTURE CONTENT

2-4% (Moisture content is stable in exterior conditions)

NATURAL DURABILITY (EN350-2)

Durable* Class 2 (Based on European testing)

INSECT ATTACK

Thermally modified wood is resistant to insect attack when used above ground contact.

DESIRED SERVICE LIFE (BS8417)

Occasionally wet 60 yrs*
Frequently wet 30 yrs*

Treatability class

Resistant

Movement class*

Small (Negligible)

Resistance to impact*

Low

Resistance to fixing

High. Modified wood is brittle and should be treated with care.

When to fix

Year round. Very stable in all conditions.

Grading

BS1186-3 1990 Class 1. EN942:2007. J20. CE grade A. Clean with a few small sound knots.

Working properties

Thermally modified woods are more brittle than untreated wood. Care should be taken when cutting and nailing to prevent chipping and break out. Pre-drilling is advised. Test glues before large-scale use. Water based glues do not work well. PU glues have tested well. Otherwise treat as a normal hardwood.

Extractives

The modification process involves no chemicals and any natural chemicals in the wood are removed during the process. Thermally modified wood can be treated as inert.

Emission of formaldehyde (EN14915)

E1 (Not significant)

Reaction to fire (EN14915)

Euroclass F (Untested). D-s2, d0

Fire treatment

Untested

CE compliant

Yes

*Brimstone products will be tested in 2017 to establish accurate data for durability, stability and strength. For now we base our information on European and American testing of similar products.

While the utmost care has been taken to provide accurate information, Vastern Timber shall not be held responsible for any consequences arising from any errors or omissions on this website nor for any damages resulting from the use of the information.

TREATING BRIMSTONE WOODS

Left untreated outside, Brimstone products will weather naturally, gradually changing in colour from chocolate brown to a silver-grey. Due to the lack or extractives (such as tannin or oil) Brimstone products tend to weather evenly and without significant staining. The weathering process can be slowed by using an oil based treatment such as Osmo UV Protection Oil or accelerated by using Sioo wood protection.

Because the thermal modification process reduces the ability of the wood to absorb moisture, (hygroscopicity), water-based treatments may not be appropriate for Brimstone products.

Brimstone products have not yet been tested with impregnated fire retardant treatments. We hope to have this completed by the end of 2016.

PERFORMANCE

Design and workmanship must take account of the relative brittleness of thermally modified hardwoods. Additionally the increased resistance to water means that water based glues and treatments may not perform as well as they would with non-modified wood.

Thermally modified wood is classed as naturally durable when used above ground. However thermally modified products are not suitable for uses involving ground contact.

THE THERMAL MODIFICATION PROCESS

Thermal modification is the process of super heating bio-materials at temperatures of between 160° and 210° in an oxygen-depleted environment. The process involves no chemicals and unlike other preservation methods the wood is treated right to the core.

The thermal modification process permanently alters the three components of the wood, Lignin, Cellulose and Hemi cellulose and changes the colour to a chocolate brown. The scientific outcome is complicated but can be summarised as follows:

Proportion

PROPORTION

The proportion of components that bond with water (Hydroxyl groups) are reduced.

Cross Linking

CROSS LINKING

‘Cross-linking’ of the Lignin deters water from entering the wood.

Moisture

MOISTURE

Equilibrium moisture content is stabilised at 2-4%.

Sugary Food

SUGARY FOOD

The sugary food favoured by wood eating fungi is degraded by the intense heat.

Mass

MASS

The wood loses mass and therefore strength.

The result is natural wood which is both stable and resistant to fungi, the main cause of decay in timber used outside.

Case Studies

Read about our recent projects and uses of Brimstone timber products

Powers House, Devon

In June 2015, CDMS Architects applied for planning permission to demolish an old stone farm workers’ house in Devon and build a new timber framed house with attached annexe. The original stone house was not worth preserving as it had been altered over the years and had become a hotchpotch of styles and materials.

Set in an area of outstanding natural beauty, the CDMS Architects’ design was for a ‘grand farmhouse’ set on the three acre plot. The house plan is a courtyard design and the building splits neatly into two parts; the main house and ‘studio’ - a separate self-contained annexe that can be used as a holiday let or granny annexe.

Featuring five bedrooms over three floors, as well as landscaped gardens and three acres of agricultural land, the site of the 508m² house is sloping. CDMS Architects accounted for this by designing the ground and first floors over two levels.

Sustainable design underpins Powers House and the design utilises an existing well to provide water for landscaping, solar photovoltaic roof panels, solar thermal roof panels, air source heat pump, underfloor heating to all areas, high levels of thermal insulation, and high quality thermally broken windows.

CDMS Architects are comfortable using cladding in their designs, and for Powers House they chose Western Red Cedar from Vastern Timber for the external cladding, specifically 95mm x 20mm boards with half lap detail, and 145 x 20mm reveal boards.

For the extensive decking around the building they chose Brimstone ash machined to profile VDEC2 in the dimension 21 x 140mm. Brimstone ash offers a locally grown alternative to tropical species commonly used for decking such as Balau and Ipe. As well as being durable and relatively hard, Brimstone ash is more stable than non-modified timbers, delivering significantly less expansion and contraction when faced with changes in ambient temperature and humidity

Brimstone ash perfectly complements the Western Red Cedar classing on Powers House and will provide robust decking for many years to come.

CDMS Architects is an award winning RIBA Chartered Practice located in central Brighton. The practice provides a full range of architectural and interior design services for a mixture of private, commercial and institutional clients, working across sectors including residential, commercial, education, conservation, leisure and masterplanning.

Powers House, Devon

SOUTHGATE

The Southgate project by Modernarc consists of a number of sustainable new homes set around a courtyard in De Beauvoir Town, North London.

Modernarc are an adventurous company unafraid to try new products and they are they’re also keen on sourcing materials locally where possible, so Brimstone British ash was a perfect fit.

Modernarc’s Paddy Heffernan explained:
'Brimstone timber was chosen to give the houses a different look to the more conventional cladding materials available, and for its long-lasting properties which would also reduce ongoing maintenance costs.'

We worked closely with Modernarc to provide exactly the right look: supplying vertical Brimstone ash cladding to a bespoke profile and designing a particular pattern of vertical boards with alternate projecting fins. We also supplied special sections for the doors and windows.

Knowing that gluing of thermally modified timber can be tricky because of the very low moisture content, Josh of Modernarc experimented with various glues for the Joinery sections. He found that a good quality expanding PU glue created a solid bond but was difficult to clean out of profiled joints. He instead opted for a melamine formaldehyde glue and has been happy with the results.

Paddy said:
'It was our first time working with this type of timber but we found it easy enough, especially with technical assistance from Vastern Timber. Working with them is always a pleasure. Very helpful and reliable, deliveries always on time and they’re flexible to fit in with our programme.'

Southgate

Self-build in Worcestershire

When the Flewers family decided to relocate from New Zealand back to Worcestershire they used the move to realise a long-held ambition to design and build their own home. In preparation they located and purchased a plot of land online while still in New Zealand and without even setting foot on it, and found an architect to design their dream home.

Planning approval was secured for a contemporary design that would have sustainability and energy efficiency at its core.

Sitting on a hillside, the four bedroom house has been designed ‘upside down’ with main living areas upstairs to make the most of the stunning views afforded by the location.

The Flewers were influenced by New Zealand houses, many of which feature timber cladding, and wanted to replicate this look for their new home. Preferring a contemporary look and a ‘box shape’, but with curved corners to soften the design, timber cladding would work extremely well. The decision facing the Flewers was; which timber cladding to use to best suit both the aesthetic of the house, and which delivered maximum sustainability? They were also very keen to use British products where possible.

A visit to Vastern Timber’s Wootton Bassett sawmill and a discussion with the timber experts convinced the Flewers that Brimstone poplar would be perfect for their project.

"We love the inertness of the material,” explains Jonathan Flewers. “The uniformity of Brimstone is perfect, although it still retains character. As soon as it was installed it looked beautiful. But equally as impressive, people love the material and working with it. It even smells fantastic. As soon as it arrived the smell was incredible and you just want to touch it and smell it."

To create the contemporary aesthetic and to allow for the curved corners Jonathan selected a vertical orientation for the cladding, using a rebated board on board profile.

Ideally suited to modern designs such as the Flewers’ house in Worcestershire, Brimstone poplar has proved an ideal British grown alternative to Canadian cedar and Siberian larch.

Self-build in Worcestershire

Brimstone News

Experience Brimstone at Vision 2017, 6-7th June, Olympia London

Launched in 2016, Brimstone is the first thermally modified British timber sourced exclusively from native woodlands. The Brimstone range is ideal for cladding, decking, external joinery and furniture, and includes thermally modified British hardwoods including ash, poplar and sycamore.

Now you can experience Brimstone at Vision 2017 - the UK’s premier built environment event aimed at architects, designers, specifiers and their clients. At the event Tom Barnes of Vastern Timber will be giving a presentation entitled 'Thermally modified hardwoods in construction' at 14.20 on Wednesday 7th June in Theatre 5.

For more information, or to register to attend visit www.visionlondon.com.

Experience Brimstone at Vision 2017 - 6-7th June

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Brimstone wins prestigious timber trade award

We're delighted to announce that Vastern Timber͛’s Brimstone range has won the Innovative Product Development award at the 2016 TTJ Awards - the most prestigious annual awards ceremony in the UK timber industry.

Brimstone was up against stiff competition, but the judges were particularly taken with combination of technology and locally grown timber to help solve the problem of declining woodland management British the broadleaf woodlands.

We've had a fantastic response to Brimstone since we launched the thermally-modified British hardwood range at Ecobuild in March, but the TTJ award is the most important recognition yet for the product's quality and its contribution to the long-term sustainability of British woodlands

Brimstone wins the 2016 TTJ Timber Innovation Award

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ASBP selects Brimstone as product of the month

Brimstone was only officially launched at EcoBuild 2016, but the innovative superheating technique is already being widely seen as a breakthrough way to protect British woodlands by creating a genuine commercial demand for homegrown hardwoods.

This official recognition by the leading association dedicated to championing sustainable building products further confirms the vital role that Brimstone could play in helping to secure our threatened British forests for generations to come, with a uniquely durable timber product that͛’s perfect for cladding, decking and other outdoor uses.

The ASBP says: 'The chemical-free process and the use of home-grown timber are the two key features that make the Brimstone range a worthy candidate for our Featured Product of the Month.

'...What sets Brimstone apart is that it is produced exclusively from trees grown in English and Welsh woodlands, and from species that are currently underused, thereby supporting our local domestic woodlands and offering clear benefits with regards to miles travelled, carbon impact and wider social value to the UK.'

Brimstone named as ASBP’s Sustainable Bulding Product of the Month

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HOW TO BUY

Basket

Currently Brimstone products are only available through Vastern Timber.

  01793 853281    sales@vastern.co.uk

If you are interested in becoming a distributor please
contact Tom Barnes:    info@brimstonewood.co.uk

FIND OUT MORE

If you are interested in finding out more about Brimstone wood and thermally modified hardwoods generally, we can offer a CPD accredited presentation titled 'Thermally modified hardwoods in construction'. The presentation can be combined with a sawmill tour at Vastern Timber in Wiltshire (extra points), or for five or more people, delivered at your premises.

To find out more about Brimstone wood or to book a CPD presentation please email info@brimstonewood.co.uk

CPD Certified

OTHER CONTACT DETAILS

Grown in Britain
BRE
TRADA
Timber Strategies

For other British timber products such as cedar cladding, larch cladding and oak beams please contact the sales team at Vastern Timber.

Keep up with Tom Barnes www.tombarnesblog.com

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