Why innovation is important in the wood preservation industry

Innovation is important for the development of new products, systems, and technologies to provide solutions that are more effective, or easier, faster, safer to use, and are better for the environment.

When I ask customers shopping for treated lumber, do they know what preservatives are in the wood, I rarely get a correct answer. Today, people assume all treated wood is the same, but some people are a bit more conscientious about what is in the wood. Or they knew what was in it 20 years ago. Well, things do change and for good reason.

Viance innovation

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the chemical preservatives used to treat wood. Their mission and mandate are to protect human health and the environment, which includes reducing environmental and health risks using the best available scientific data.

Viance's purpose is to develop products that improve the performance and durability of wood using the safest and most environmentally friendly technologies available. Below is our history of innovation and the difference these preservatives offer in providing safer, more effective, easier to use preservatives that are better for our environment.

Viance Innovations 1985 to 2012


The Viance history of innovations started in 1985 with the introduction of D-Blaze® fire retardant for treated wood for interior use. D-Blaze, a water-based fire retardant is effective at slowing down the spread of fire and smoke. D-Blaze does not off-gas and does not emit any VOCs to the air that could cause harm.


In 1989 after extensive testing, we proved the benefit of adding stabilizers and water repellents to preservatives to extend the life of wood by resisting the effects of the sun and weather extremes. Wood stays straighter, repels water, and checking is significantly reduced.


Preserve® ACQ (Alkaline copper quaternary) was developed in 1992 as an arsenic-free, new wood preservative for residential uses.


Viance was awarded the EPA's Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge: 2002 Designing Greener Chemicals Award for Preserve® ACQ, an environmentally advanced wood preservative.


In 2002 Viance developed AuraLast®, for a large window manufacturer. Auralast® is a patented product capable of fully treating the wood used for window components to the core unlike other products/processes that only treat the surface of the wood.


In 2008 Ecolife® was developed as the first non-metallic, residential wood preservative for above ground use. As a popular treated wood decking, the Ecolife treatment is also used in treating wood commonly used in above ground applications, such as 1 by’s, 2x4's, 2x6's, railing, joists, beams, fence panels, lattice, plywood, and deck components.


In 2011 Ecolife's stabilizer and water repellent components, were combined as a one-pack formulation (EL2) to make it easier for treaters. Ecolife One Pack provides an emulsified formulation so that treaters can deliver consistent results for long term performance.


In 2012 Viance developed a fluorescent dye tracer to use with a UV light to determine penetration of colorless, non-metallic preservatives in softwood species.

Viance innovation hisotry 2013 to 2022


In 2013 DesignWood® in-cylinder colorants were developed. Many companies use spray on stains; however, when added in the pressure treating process, DesignWood, a proprietary colorant, lasts up to three times longer than other in-cylinder colorants and outlasts cedar and redwood color.


In 2015 a stable Copper Azole, Type C formulation, Preserve® CA-C, was developed making it easier for wood treaters to treat wood without having to mix separate components. The new formulation improved treatability and enhanced product consistency.


In 2016 D-Blaze® fire retardant treated wood (FRTW) was the first FRTW to earn UL's GreenGuard Gold certification for low emissions. This also qualified D-Blaze for the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Building Rating System. D-Blaze is water-based and does not off-gas, making D-Blaze a preferred fire retardant product acceptable for use in environments such as schools and healthcare facilities.


UP-23, an oil-borne wood preservative formulation based on the active ingredient DCOI, was registered with the EPA in 2018. UP-23 treated wood marketed as UltraPole® NXT became a game changer for wood utility pole infrastructural applications. DCOI is the first, new, oil-borne industrial wood preservative introduced in decades. UP-23 is intended for the treatment of southern pine wood species in the Southeast and Eastern US.


In 2022 Viance successfully registered UP-50 with the EPA for the treatment of western species wood poles. UP-50 like its cousin UP-23, is based on the active ingredient DCOI.

The innovation is ongoing. Viance continues to work on improving its current product portfolio and on the development of new products to provide an extensive range of advanced wood treatment technologies and services to the global wood preservation industry.