Response Surface Modeling of Hydrothermal Treatment Conditions on Color Changes, Strength, and Durability Properties of Rubberwood

Taweesin Wongprot, Nirundorn Matan, Narumol Matan, Wanchart Preechatiwong, Buhnnum Kyokong


The effect of hydrothermal treatment at various temperatures (100 to 160 °C) and treatment times (30 to 720 minutes) on color changes (ΔE*), equilibrium moisture content (EMC), tensile strength (TS), shear strength (SS), brown-rot fungal decay mass loss (FML), and termite attack score (TAS) of rubberwood was examined. Response surface methodology (RSM) with a two-factor, four level (42) full factorial was employed. The mathematical models describing those properties as functions of treatment temperature and logarithm of treatment time were obtained. Hydrothermal treatment adversely and positively influenced mechanical properties (TS and SS) and durability (FML and TAS), respectively, of rubberwood. Strong correlations between ΔE*, TS, SS, and FML of hydrothermally treated rubberwood, proposed to be a consequence of degradation of hemicelluloses, were observed. Finally, ΔE* proved to be a good indicator of TS, SS, and FML but not that of EMC and TAS of hydrothermally treated rubberwood.


Hydrothermal treatment; Rubberwood; Color changes; Strength properties; Fungal resistance; Termite resistance

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