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MøreTre - Takes pressure treatment a step further

The Norwegian company MøreTre AS in Surnadal has found its own way to make wood more resistant and virtually maintenance-free. In what they call Royal treatment, the highest quality redwood is used which comes among other places from Setra’s sawmill in Malå.

THE VESTLAND REGION is a fascinating landscape with narrow fjords, high mountains, roaring waterfalls and awe-inspiring glaciers. These distinctive environments were formed by a number of ice ages but are in principle unchanged since the first humans arrived.

Here, just outside the small community of Surnadal, is the location of the company MøreTre which has been manufacturing Royal treated timber under the MøreRoyal brand for 35 years. This is a pure, natural product that after pressure treatment in two stages provides a highly durable wood that is particularly suitable for outdoor structures. The product range includes exterior claddings in a choice of sizes, profiles and colours as well as decking, wooden roofs and a range of different concepts for terraces, conservatories and gardens. 
Setra has been working with MøreTre for several years and is one of the suppliers of the high-quality redwood product that forms the basis of Royal treated decking.  

“We have worked intensively to produce a grade that meets MøreTre’s high requirements,” explains Bo Andersson who is Customer Manager for building products at Setra Malå. Today we mainly supply the so-called duo decking which is smooth on the underside and grooved on the upper side. We plane and groove in Malå before it is given the Royal pressure treatment in two stages at MøreTre.”

Pressure treatment in two stages 
The cooperation started with Setra supplying raw material that was planed in MøreTre’s own planing mill. When the new, fully automated treatment unit was completed three years ago, Setra was asked if they could supply planed wood. 
“Our operations are based on having good raw material to work with. What we appreciate with Setra is that sorting takes place after planing. This means we can feel even more secure in terms of quality. Furthermore, delivery reliability is high and they have a lot of expertise about wood,” says Roar Nordvik who is Production Manager at MøreTre.

The fully automated treatment unit was inaugurated in 2013 and has an annual capacity of 50,000 cubic metres. Two employees monitor operations that take place in four huge autoclaves that can be compared with enormous pressure chambers. The process starts with high quality redwood being pressure treated with a copper-based solution. 
This takes place in a closed system where the impregnating agent is forced all the way in to the heart of the wood. In stage two, the wood is boiled under vacuum for eight to ten hours in 80-degree hot oil that fills all the pores of the wood’s surface.

This treatment makes the surface highly water repellent and reduces the risk of swelling and cracking. The result is a dimension and shape-stable wood product oiled on all sides. This process is very energy-intensive and MøreTre has solved this by building its own biofuel plant where they utilise and burn everything that is left over from the sawmill that is also part of the operation.

Climate demands high quality 
A fully treated product that requires minimum maintenance and carries a full 50-year warranty against rot, naturally means that more and more people are discovering MøreRoyal. Not least Norwegian architects who in recent years have specified Royal impregnated wood for several notable buildings in coastal areas, including the recently completed Romsdal Museum in Molde. With its spires and unexpected nooks and crannies, the roof is the most eye-catching part. And just like the museum’s façade the roof is also clad with MøreRoyal.  
“Here in Norway our sometimes grim climate places high demands on the wood products used in various types of buildings. On the coast, for example, the damp air provides an excellent breeding ground for microorganisms. So if you perform a life cycle analysis on a material that lasts for 50 years and is also almost maintenance-free, cost and environmental impact are very small,” concludes Roar Nordvik

Text: Katarina Brandt
Photo: Magnus Laupa