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Your parquet could emit Ammonia – Ammonia testing by FTIR

Ammonia testing smoked oak

Whether you call it fumed or smoked oak: it looks beautiful. FTIR makes quality control of smoked oak a lot easier and even saves money doing so!

Ammonia fuming is an well-known process and testing for ammonia is a crucial part of quality control. If oak or other types of wood are exposed to ammonia they will darken over time. Depening on exposition time the shade of color achieved can be adjusted to taste.

During the fuming, ammonia will react with tannins in the wood, producing stable ammonia salts. After the process the fumed material must be well-vented, since there is a lot of residual ammonia.

Attribution: Courtesy Spinningspark at Wikipedia

Now to the bad part. If, for example, your freshly layed out carpet flooring wasn’t vented enough, itself and your other furniture might face dire consequences.

How ammonia effects your parquet

Ammonia may react with the glue that was used to fix your parquet flooring. If this happens, your flooring becomes loose and has to be exchanged to prevent further damage. Additionally, a chair or table in direct contact with inadequately vented wood is prone to discoloration and may suffer irreversible staining.

This is why an analysis of residual ammonia is so important when you are working with fumed oak.

Since traditional methods are either imprecise, unreliable or very costly, parquet manufacturer Scheucher uses FTIR to check the residual ammonia levels directly at delivery.

Workflow of the „Scheucher-Scan“. A) Removal of a single chip of fumed oak B) Fumed Oak chip pressed onto the diamond ATR C) Used chips after analysis (waste).

Scheucher’s advantages of ammonia testing with FTIR? Not only does it save money by producing less waste, it also makes analysis faster and easier than before. To make a long story short: it just works.

The ALPHA II FTIR spectrometer can also be used to investigate gases themselves with the right accessory. To learn more, take a look at our AppNote or contact us!


[1] Bruker AppNote M149 Quality Control of Fumed Oak via FTIR – Fast, Easy, Effective.