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Hardness of chemically densified Yellow birch in relation to wood density, polymer content and polymer properties
Holzforschung  (IF2.393),  Pub Date : 2021-02-23, DOI: 10.1515/hf-2020-0076
Juliette Triquet, Pierre Blanchet, Véronic Landry

Abstract Density of wood can be increased by filling its porous structure with polymers. Such densification processes aim to increase hardness of wood and are particularly interesting for flooring applications. This study aims to evaluate efficiency of different polymers for chemical densification based on the polymer properties. Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis Britt.) was chemically densified with seven monomer mixtures through acrylate monomer impregnation and electron beam in-situ polymerization. Chemical retention and polymer content of densified woods were recorded. Hardness of treated and untreated Yellow birch was measured and compared to hardness of Jatoba (Hymenaea courbaril L.). All densified woods showed higher or comparable hardness to Jatoba. Hardness of densified wood was analyzed in relation to initial density of wood and polymer content of the material using multivariable linear mixed models. Efficiency of polymers for chemical densification was evaluated through effect of polymer content on hardness with interaction coefficients. Polymer films corresponding to monomer impregnating mixtures were prepared through low energy electron beam and characterized by their glass transition temperature, micro hardness, indentation modulus and crosslinking density. Polymers showed statistically significantly different efficiencies and were separated in two main groups. Overall, polymer efficiency increased with increasing glass transition temperature of polyacrylates.