Cu-Lam: Barrier Protection for Wood against Termites

Laboratory Termite Starvation Test:   Confined termites died of starvation before they would penetrate the copper foil barrier.  A suitable wood cellulose food source was available on the other side of the barrier. University of Hawaii, 2009

UH original photo termite test CuLam

13 August 2009

Bill and Ben,

As I indicated to Bill, the 4-week termite test with Copper Care Barrier Wrap has been completed. We tested both intact and seamed laminate, and laminate where the surface had been abraded by intensive scuffing on rough concrete. The abrasions mimicked the sort of minor damage one might expect to occur during a rough installation, but were not deep enough to expose the interior copper layer.

I’ll send a full report early next week. However, in the meantime, I have attached a photo of the disks that we tested at the conclusion of the 4-week termite exposure. In no cases did termites penetrate the intact laminate, the seams, or the abraded laminate. As we have seen with other plastics, if the surface is rough enough for them to grasp it with their mandibles (jaws), they will tear away and consume the plastic; and quite a bit of the abraded laminate surface was further damaged by the termites. However, they were completely stopped by the interior copper layer. Thus, so long as the copper film is intact, the laminate appears to be an effective termite barrier.

Best regards,


J. Kenneth Grace  –   Professor & Chair  

 Dept. of Plant & Environmental – Protection Sciences (PEPS)                    

University of Hawaii at Manoa