Introduction A shortage of high quality hardwood has driven manufacturers to search for alternative resources such as softwood. The hardness of softwood, in certain applications, becomes the crucial factor for this substitution. In the past, various treatments have been used to stabilize wood from changes due to moisture and to improve its physical and mechanical properties and bio-deterioration resistance. Chemically treating woods with styrene (Langwig et al. 1968, 1969; Meyer and Loos 1969), methyl methacrylate (Noah and Foudjet 1988), vinyl acetate and other chemicals (Mathias et al. 1991; Yalimkilic et al. 1998, 1999; Solpan and Guven 1999) have shown promising improvements. Chemical treatment with additional compression also brings in a new dimension of wood property improvement. In this study we focused on the improvement in hardness of southern pine wood by styrene impregnation. Regular diffusion and vacuum impregnation were used to transport the styrene into the wood, and styrene was then polymerized in situ by a catalyst-heat process. The hardness, density, weight gain and water absorption were determined. Materials and Methods Materials Eight wood specimens, measuring 5.08 cm × 5.08 cm × 5.08 cm in the longitudinal, radial and tangential directions were prepared from air-dried southern pine for
Holzforschung – de Gruyter
Published: Apr 25, 2003
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