The project increases wood product research data and improves the reliability of the electricity distribution infrastructure.

The aim of the project is to develop the long-term durability of modified wood products, which are typically used in infrastructure (e.g. electric poles and bridges). The methods: strength testing of full-size electric poles, various other material tests as well as a laboratory decay test. The industry provides materials (poles of various types and ages) and information.

The test results can be used to develop the service life of current product, as well as products in use. Also, the development of new with a reduced environmental impact products and impregnation and modification methods is possible.

The project is exceptionally significant in terms of scope and potential effects.

The goals, actions and results of the project were communicated in different events and articles during the implementation of the project.


Work Package 1: Effect of soil type on the duration of tree rot

  • With the help of wood decay tests, information is obtained about the durability of materials in different conditions.
  • The goal is to find a connection between naturally aged wooden poles and the results of rot experiments.

Work Package 2: The life cycle of copper-impregnated wood products in practice and life cycle optimization as well as the mechanical properties of thermal wood in pole-scale products

  • A sufficiently representative sample of copper-impregnated poles of different ages and types is mechanically tested.
  • Place of placement, condition classifications, differences in impregnation chemicals, damage caused during removal are taken into account.
  • Main test method: full-size pole bending test (breaking force, strength, bending modulus, mode of failure) according to EN 14229.
  • In the work package is defined e.g. wood product moisture content, impregnation penetration and amount, and soil testing (selected locations).
  • The goal is to increase understanding of the life cycle of wooden poles.

Work Package 3: Lifetime limit values for wooden poles

  • We test poles collected from renovation sites and analyze their condition and properties.
  • We take into account the available information about the inspections carried out on the poles in the field.
  • The reliability of the condition classification and longer-term changes in the condition of the pole are evaluated.
  • The goal is to increase the reliability of measurements in the field.

Work Package 4: Material properties of decommissioned impregnated wood material

  • We examine the main properties of the used pole material.
  • The history of the material, its origin, as well as the impregnating agents used and the method are identified.
  • Efforts are being made to expand the research to other products, such as disused wooden bridges, lampposts and pole products.
  • The aim is to investigate the recycling possibilities of used materials.

Work Package 5: The potential of research data in decision-making

  • We evaluate the functionality of impregnation liquids and modification methods based on rot tests and testing of used products.
  • Analyzing the produced research data from the point of view of practical application.
  • We compare the measurement data of wooden electricity poles with the available inspection and measurement data.
  • The utilization potential of new information in practical decision-making at the level of electricity network companies is evaluated.
  • We are considering the possibilities of developing operational condition testing and maintenance based on the information produced.
  • The possibilities of developing circular economy business are being evaluated.


A research report is compiled as a concrete result of the project. The research project creates usable research information on the long-term durability of wooden poles and the reliability of pole condition classification. The information can be used directly in other wood products impregnated with a similar method and used as a basis for infrastructure life cycle models.

More information

Juho Peura
Southeast Finland University
of Applied Sciences
Project Manager
p. 040 864 4983

Simo Torniainen
Southeast Finland University
of Applied Sciences
p. 040 759 3369

Heikki Naumanen
Southeast Finland University
of Applied Sciences
Research Engineer
p. 040 826 6066

Kai Möller
Southeast Finland University
of Applied Sciences
Research Engineer
p. 050 517 1631


Optimizing the service life of modified wood pole products

1 October 2023 – 30 September 2025

Project partners

Lead partner: South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences

Partners: Adato Energia Oy/Sähkötutkimuspooli, Scanpole Oy, Järvi-Suomen Energia Oy, Savon Voima Verkko Oy, Kymenlaakson Sähköverkko Oy, Väylävirasto, Luxhammar Oy


Total budget: € 291008

XAMK part of the total budget: € 32752

Financiers and main source of funding: ELY Centre of South Savo, ERDF - Project search