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Improvement of Durability of Wood by Maleic Anhydride

Authors: Yong F. Li, Yi X. Liu, Xiang M. Wang, Feng H. Wang


Wood as a natural renewable material is vulnerable to degradation by microorganisms and susceptible to change in dimension by water. In order to effectively improve the durability of wood, an active reagent, maleic anhydride (Man) was selected for wood modification. Man was first dissolved into a solvent, and then penetrated into wood porous structure under a vacuum/pressure condition. After a final catalyst-thermal treatment, wood modification was finished. The test results indicate that acetone is a good solvent for transporting Man into wood matrix. SEM observation proved that wood samples treated by Man kept a good cellular structure, indicating a well penetration of Man into wood cell walls. FTIR analysis suggested that Man reacted with hydroxyl groups on wood cell walls by its ring-ether group, resulting in reduction of amount of hydroxyl groups and resultant good dimensional stability as well as fine decay resistance. Consequently, Man modifying wood to improve its durability is an effective method.

Keywords: Wood, porous structure, durability improvement, maleic anhydride

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