Full Length Research Paper
The current study demonstrates the effect of in-situ formation of polymer from vinyl monomers on the morphology and durability of wood. Mixed monomers of methyl methacrylate (MMA) and styrene (St) (1:1 molar ratio) were effectively vacuum/pressure impregnated into the cellular structure of a fast-growing poplar wood, Populus ussuriensis Kom, and then underwent a catalyst-thermal process to polymerize and form wood-polymer composite. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observation shows that polymer converted from monomers almost filled up wood cell cavities. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis indicates that the polymer mainly physical interacted with wood matrix. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis suggests that the in-situ generated polymer mainly remained as an amorphous form in cell lumen. The block of wood cavities by polymer coupled with the water resistance of polymer resulted in remarkable improvement of decay resistance and dimensional stability of wood.
Key words: Wood-polymer composite, characterization, morphology, durability, methyl methacrylate, styrene.
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