THERMAL, MECHANICAL, AND MOISTURE ABSORPTION PROPERTIES OF WOOD-TiO2 COMPOSITES PREPARED BY A SOL-GEL PROCESS

Xiaoqing Wang, Junliang Liu, Yubo Chai

Abstract


Wood-TiO2 (titania) composites were prepared by a sol-gel process, in which wood was impregnated with the precursor solutions prepared from tetrabutyl titanate (TBT), followed by a curing step. The surface morphology and moisture absorption behavior of the wood composites, as well as their thermal and mechanical performances, were examined. Environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) analysis revealed that TiO2 gels were deposited principally in the cell lumens and partly in the cell walls, as confirmed by the energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis. By this inorganic modification, the hygroscopicity of wood was significantly reduced and its dimensional stability was improved consequently. Greater amounts of TiO2 gel deposited in the cell lumens were not helpful in enhancing the hygroscopicity of wood. Thermal analysis (TG-DTA) showed that the incorporation of TiO2 gel retarded the thermal decomposition of wood matrix and improved the thermal stability of wood. The incorporated inorganic gel seemed to stiffen the wood cell walls, as indicated by the increased resistance of the wood composites to deformation and collapse in compression.

Keywords


Dimensional stability; Moisture absorption; Sol-gel; Thermal analysis; TiO2

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Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022, hubbe@ncsu.edu; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, lucian.lucia@gmail.com URLs: bioresourcesjournal.com; http://ncsu.edu/bioresources ISSN: 1930-2126