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Cu-Lam Barrier Wraps

Cu-Lam barrier wrap is a copper foil polyethylene laminate which prevents direct soil contact with the pole. The Cu-Lam barrier keeps the preservative from migrating into the surrounding soil. The preservative stays in the wood longer, by inhibiting the natural depletion process of the preservatives. Cu-Lam barriers are designed to deter and repel wood-destroying fungi and termites. Install Cu-Lam barriers in environmentally sensitive areas and in regions where subterranean termites are active.

Independent tests have proven that the use of one-piece barrier wraps can significantly reduce the occurrence of decay and insect attack on treated wood structures when the ground contact portion of the wooden member is protected from soil contact by the barrier. Preservative treated stakes wrapped with a barrier in a Hilo, Hawaii field trial have out-performed un-wrapped stakes 2 to 1. Basidiomycota vector-function is suppressed by impermeable membrane barriers; preventing these decay fungi from efficiently translocating soil-source inorganic nutrients.


Barrier wraps are impermeable membranes that are placed over the butt end of wood poles just prior to installation. Barrier wraps offer additional protection to treated wood from decay, insect attack, and preservative strength loss over time. They also protect the surrounding environment from chemical leaching.

Copper Care Wood Preservatives' Cu-Lam Fire Barriers protects utility poles during grass and brush fires. The copper foils melting point of almost 2000° F creates a durable oxygen barrier inhibiting ignition and preventing after-glow.

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Tested and Recognized

Cu-Lam Barrier

  • 89 microns high performance poly cross-link film
  • 18 microns recycled copper
  • 89 microns high performance poly cross-link film
Technical Data US Customary Metric Test Method
Tensile Strength 59lbs/in width 103 N/10mm width ASTM D882
Thickness .0079“ 200 microns ASTM D374
Elongation at Break 38% 38% ASTM D882
Static Coefficient of Friction 0.42 0.42 ASTM D1894-06
Tear Strength 9 lb 40 N ASTM D1938-06
Yield 16.36 sq. ft/lb 298 g/sq m CCWP TM-002

Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

In a Study initiated in 2003, and is ongoing, demonstrates that preservative movement out of treated poles equipped with barrier wraps is blocked. Impermeable barrier wraps impedes leaching into the surrounding environment.

Oregon State University

1997 Oregon State University researchers concluded, “Booted (barrier wrapped) stakes had little evidence of decay, where as those without boots (barrier wraps) experienced large weight loss and extreme shrinkage and deformation.”

American Wood Protection Association (AWPA)

Recently recognized the efficacy of the barrier wrap system. AWPA now includes Barriers in Standard P-20-07 and is working on additional commodity listings of barrier systems.

International Building Codes

The International Code Council Evaluation Services recognizes the use of a barrier wrap system for use in ground contact service in report ESR-1834.

Mississippi State University

In 2000 Mississippi State University termite resistance tests found that there was no attack on any of the coated (barrier wrapped) wood.

Forinek-Canada (Western Lab), PowerTech Labs, BC Science Council, & BC Hydro

Soil Bed tests were performed by Forinek-Canada (Western Lab), PowerTech Labs, the BC Science Council, and BC Hydro on CCA-C treated and untreated Lodgepole pine posts. In high decay conditions for over eight years found that the performance increase due to booting (barrier wrapping) was 2.5 times greater on a retention basis.