Summary: We popped our Eucalyptus timber mats into a refrigerated container for 60 hours and tested the mats for the effect of rapid freezing from 25º Celsius to minus 25º Celsius and rapid thawing after the freeze test. Conclusion: No change in measured mat integrity.

Here’s a summary:

We tested a total of 12 standard 18’x8”x4’ mats.

Six of the 4’ mats were soaked for four days prior to the test. The other six 4’ mats were dry mats that had been in storage for 6 weeks.

Each mat had ten sampling points. Three points on the top of the mat, three on the bottom, and two points on each side. All sampling points were randomly located.

We used a random number generator to select the block to be sampled. Once each block was selected we used another random number to determine sampling point distance in millimeters from the end of the mat.

The following picture shows a sampling point on the side of the mat 57387 and that is located at 1865 mm from the end.

We took a picture of every sampling point. When there was a crack on the sampling point, we measured the crack using a digital caliper.

Mats were loaded into the reefer container, which took 12 hours to reach the minimum temperature of – 25° Centigrade (minus 13 Fahrenheit). After the container reached – 25°Centigrade we kept the mats in the container for 60 more hours.

We then opened the container to ambient temperature at about 25° centigrade (77° Fahrenheit).

Next step was statistical analysis of the data.

CONCLUSION: There was no statistical difference between the sizes of the cracks before and after freezing for mats under the wet or dry treatments.

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