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Comparison of silicate impregnation methods to reinforce Chinese fir wood
Holzforschung  (IF2.393),  Pub Date : 2021-02-23, DOI: 10.1515/hf-2020-0016
Ping Li, Yuan Zhang, Yingfeng Zuo, Yiqiang Wu, Guangming Yuan, Jianxiong Lu

Abstract Inorganic impregnation strengthening of Chinese fir wood was carried out to improve the strength, dimensional stability, flame retardancy, and smoke suppression of Chinese fir wood. Sodium silicate was used as reinforcement, a sulfate and phosphate mixtures were used as a curing agent, and Chinese fir wood was reinforced by the respiratory impregnation method (RIM) that imitating human respiration and vacuum progressive impregnation method (VPIM). The weight percentage gain (WPG), density increase rate, distribution of modifier, bending strength (BS), compressive strength (CS), hardness, and water resistance of unreinforced Chinese fir wood from the VPIM and RIM were compared. It was found that RIM could effectively open the aspirated pits in Chinese fir wood, so its impregnation effect, strengthen effect and dimension stabilization effects were the best. RIM-reinforced Chinese fir wood was filled with silicate both horizontally and vertically. At the same time, the transverse permeability of silicate through aspirated pits was significantly improved. The chemical structure, crystalline structure, flame retardancy, smoke suppression, and thermal stability of VPIM- and RIM-reinforced Chinese fir wood were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), cone calorimeter (CONE), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The results indicated that although the crystallinity of RIM-reinforced Chinese fir wood decreased the most, more chemical crosslinking and hydrogen bonding were formed in the wood, and the strengthen effect was still the best. Compared with VPIM-reinforced Chinese fir wood, RIM-reinforced Chinese fir wood had lower heat release rate (HRR), peak-HRR, mean-HRR, total heat release (THR), smoke production rate (SPR), and total smoke production (TSP), higher thermal decomposition temperature and residual rate. It was indicated that RIM-reinforced Chinese fir wood was a better flame retardant, and has a smoke suppression effect, thermal stability, and safety performance in the case of fire.