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Improving physico-mechanical properties, thermal stability and decay resistance of fast grown Melia dubia wood by nanoclay fortified phenolic resin impregnation

Abstract

Impregnation with polymeric resin fortified with nanoparticles is one of the promising techniques to improve moisture-related behaviours, strength properties and thermal stability of low-density wood. Nanowood composites (NWC) were produced by impregnating the phenol formaldehyde (PF) resin fortified nanoclay (NC) nanoparticle in fast grown low density Melia dubia wood. Dried wood samples were impregnated with different concentrations of PF resin (10–30%) fortified with 0.5–3.0 wt% of NC using vacuum and pressure technique. Different physical and mechanical properties such as density, water uptake, shrinkage, flexural strength properties, compressive strength and surface hardness were evaluated. Decay resistance of NWC against brown and white rot fungi and thermal stability were determined and found to be enhanced. The amount of improvement in different properties of Melia dubia NWC was found to be dependent on concentration of nanoparticle-resin impregnated into the wood. Microscopic characterization of NWC using scanning electron microscope (SEM) showed that nanofiller and PF resin bulked the fibre lumen, penetrated the cell wall structures and also reacted with hydroxyl groups improving different wood properties to various extents. Thus, this processing technique may be employed to upgrade the quality of plantation grown lower density hardwoods. Preparation of such composites may represent a promising approach to obtain improved wood products for various value-added applications such as furniture, flooring, wall panelling and light construction.

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Acknowledgements

Authors are thankful the Director, IWST, Bangalore, for his keen interest in the research work. Technical support by Ms. N. Mamatha of Forest Protection Division, IWST, for pathological testing is appropriately acknowledged. The authors also thank the Centre of Nano Science and Engineering (CeNSE), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, for using sample characterization techniques (SEM, XRD and FTIR).

Funding

This work was carried out under a research project titled “Value-addition of low-density woods by producing nanowood-composites (NWC) with enhanced properties for high end applications” funded by the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Dehradun (India).

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Correspondence to S. R. Shukla.

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Shukla, S.R., Sharma, S.K. Improving physico-mechanical properties, thermal stability and decay resistance of fast grown Melia dubia wood by nanoclay fortified phenolic resin impregnation. J Indian Acad Wood Sci 19, 1–15 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13196-022-00291-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13196-022-00291-x

Keywords

  • Melia dubia
  • Nanoclay
  • EMC
  • Density
  • Flexural properties
  • Compression
  • Decay resistance