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Studies of the degradation and protection of wood surfaces

Summary

Large weight losses occurred in thin veneers of radiata pine (P. radiata) during natural weathering due mainly to loss of lignin and hemicelluloses. This was demonstrated by direct chemical analysis and by spectrocopic techniques. Treatment of veneers with dilute aqueous solutions of the recognized surface stabilizing compound chromium trioxide was found to dramatically restrict weight loss during weathering, but similar applications of ferric compound were less effective (Evans, Schmalzl 1989). In order to rationalize these protective effects FTIR internal reflectance spectroscopy was used to study chemical changes taking place at the wood surface upon treatment and during weathering. The spectra obtained provide direct evidence for the modification and stabilization of the lignin aromatic system with aqueous chromium trioxide and to a lesser extent with ferric salts. It is postulated that photostable lignin complexes are formed. The implications of these findings for the development of improved surface stabilizing compounds for wood are discussed briefly.

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The authors wish to thank the following: Tom Syers and Lloyd Vickers (C.S.I.R.O., Division of Forestry and Forest Products); Helen Neave, and Clive Hilliker (Australian National University, Department of Forestry) for technical assistance, and the Stanley Melbourne Bruce fund for financially supporting part of the work

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Evans, P.D., Michell, A.J. & Schmalzl, K.J. Studies of the degradation and protection of wood surfaces. Wood Sci.Technol. 26, 151–163 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00194471

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00194471

Keywords

  • Lignin
  • Hemicellulose
  • Material Processing
  • Internal Reflectance
  • Large Weight