Wood modifications for valued-added applications using nanotechnology-based approaches

Authors: Cai, Xiaolin
Advisor: Riedl, Bernard; Wan, Hui; Zhang, S. Y.
Abstract: The development of value-added wood products from low-quality resource through innovative technology presents an excellent opportunity to maximize the value from the forest resource and thus contributes to the global competitiveness of the wood industry in Canada. To combine nanotechnology with chemical impregnation technique becomes particularly appealing to improve some value-added wood attributes such as wood surface hardness, abrasion resistance and dimensional stability. The combination of nanotechnology with the traditional impregnation technique has provided a new approach to improve the wood quality attributes of critical importance to value-added applications. In this study, wood polymer nanocomposites were prepared from solid aspen (Populus tremuloides) wood, water-soluble melamine-urea-formaldehyde (MUF) resin, and montmorillonite aluminium silicate nanoclays. Both hydrophilic and hydrophobic montmorillonite nanoclays were introduced to the system. The dispersion of nanoclay is crucial for completely utilizing the concept of nanoparticles. To do so, the montmorillonite nanoclays were ground with a ball-mill before being mixed with MUF resin and impregnated into the aspen wood. The wood samples were impregnated with resin, which polymerized in situ under specific conditions. The influence of the montmorillonite nanoparticles on the curing behaviour of MUF resin and visco-elasticity properties were investigated using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and dynamical mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA). Significant improvements in wood physical and mechanical properties, such as surface hardness, abrasion resistance, modulus of elasticity (MOE) were observed for the specimens impregnated with MUF resin and nanoclay-MUF resin mixtures. Significant improvements in water repellence and dimensional stabilities were also found for the nanofiller/MUF treated wood. The antiswelling efficiency (ASE) was improved from 63.3% to 125.6% for the nanofiller/MUF treated wood. This study also examined the influence of the interphase interactions and morphology between the nanofillers, MUF and wood on the physical and mechanical properties of the resulting wood-polymer nanocomposites using X-ray electron spectroscopy, scanning electron microscope (SEM), transmission electron microscope (TEM), atomic force microscope (AFM) and electron probe micro-analysis (EPMA). The improved wood properties could be ascribed to inherent properties as well as better interphase interactions between the wood, MUF and nanofillers. Ball-mill treatment favoured the dispersion of the nanofillers into the wood, but broke down functional groups on the hydrophobic nanoclay surface, which was detrimental for the bonding between the nanofiller and MUF matrix. The montmorillonite nanoclay coverage rate on the nanofiller/MUF wood nanocomposite surface was further investigated using the Wincell software analysis of the images of aluminium distribution. By duplicatine the image of aluminium distribution to the part was observed, it was found that the distribution of montmorillonite nanoclay looks like a network along the layer of ML (middle lamella), M (compound middle lamella), P (primary wall), S1 (secondary wall 1). These parts function like a sieve which captured the montmorillonite nanoparticles in the amorphous substance. The adhesion between montmorillonite and MUF resin was observed with AFM. It was confirmed that the functional groups of the organophilic montmorillonites play an important role on the compatibility between montmorillonite nanoclay and MUF resin, have strong influence on the physical/mechanical properties of the nanoclay/MUF wood nanocomposites.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2007
Open Access Date: 13 April 2018
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/19711
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

Files in this item:
SizeFormat 
24888.pdf18.97 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
All documents in CorpusUL are protected by Copyright Act of Canada.