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Treatment of wood with atmospheric plasma discharge: study of the treatment process, dynamic wettability and interactions with a waterborne coating
Holzforschung  (IF2.393),  Pub Date : 2021-07-01, DOI: 10.1515/hf-2020-0182
Jure Žigon, Matjaž Pavlič, Pierre Kibleur, Jan Van den Bulcke, Marko Petrič, Joris Van Acker, Sebastian Dahle

Plasma treatment is becoming a mature technique for modification of surfaces of various materials, including wood. A better insight in the treatment process and the impact of the plasma on properties of wood bulk are still needed. The study was performed on Norway spruce and common beech wood, as well as their thermally modified variations. The formations of the airborne discharge, as well as mass changes of the treated wood, were monitored. The impact of such treatment on wood-coating interaction was investigated by evaluating the dynamic wettability and penetration into wood. At the wood surface, plasma streamers were observed more intense on denser latewood regions. Wood mass loss was higher with increasing number of passes through the plasma discharge and was lower for thermally modified wood than for unmodified wood. Plasma treatment increased the surface free energy of all wood species and lowered the contact angles of a waterborne coating, these together indicating enhanced wettability after treatment. Finally, the distribution and penetration depth of the coating were studied with X-ray microtomography. It was found that the coating penetrated deeper into beech than into spruce wood. However, the treatment with plasma increased the penetration of the coating only into spruce wood.