Densified wood as raw material for polymer composites pp.1103-1112
Authors: (Andreja Kutnar, Frederick A. Kamke, and Milan Sernek, University of Primorska, Primorska Institute for Natural Sciences and Technology, Slovenia, and others)
Abstract: Interest in the modification of wood has increased in recent years due to increasing competition from other materials and the decrease in the quality of structural wood as a consequence of the harvesting of fast grown woods. Wood with inadequate mechanical properties can be modified by various combinations of compressive, thermal and chemical treatments. Since most of the mechanical properties of wood are correlated to its density, interest in modification in sense of wood densification is constantly increasing. All forms of densification result in wood that has a lower volume of air space, which increases overall density. The product is densified wood of high density and strength. The novel densification processes adequately consider plasticization or stability of the densified products. Therefore densified wood can be effectively utilized as the raw material also in the production of composites. This chapter reviews the densified wood products in terms of raw material for the composite products. The studies of relevant properties and structural composites, recently produced from viscoelastic thermal compressed wood (VTC wood), are presented. Finally, future directions regarding application of densified wood in polymer composites are discussed.