Photocatalytic Degradation of Wood Coated with a Combination of Rutile TiO2 Nanostructures and Low-Surface Free-Energy Materials

Rongbo Zheng, Mandla A. Tshabalala, Qingyu Li, Hongyan Wang


To test the hypothesis that wood coated with rutile TiO2 nanostructures can undergo degradation because of the photocatalytic activity of TiO2, three sets of wood specimens were aged at an accelerated rate. These three sets consisted of blank wood (BW), HDTMOS/MTMOS-coated wood (WHM), and TiO2/HDTMOS/MTMOS-coated wood (WTHM). After exposure to 155-h UV irradiation, the wettability of WTHM changed from hydrophobic to hydrophilic. This indicated that the initial low-surface free-energy materials underwent degradation because of the photocatalytic activity of TiO2. After exposure to 960 h of UV light irradiation and water spray, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDXA) of WTHM showed that rutile TiO2 nanostructures had partially peeled off the wood surface. This suggested that the adjacent wood surface also suffered degradation because of the photocatalytic activity of TiO2. Although the rutile TiO2 coating noticeably enhanced the color stability during UV light aging, it made a relatively small contribution to the color stability of the wood during UV light and water spray weathering process. This study suggests that to derive the greatest benefit from modification of wood surfaces with rutile TiO2 nanostructures for weathering resistance, it is necessary to take measures to inhibit the photocatalytic activity of TiO2 or to fix the TiO2 coating on the wood surface.


Coating; Hydrophobic; Nanostructure; Photocatalytic; Rutile; Titanium dioxide; Weathering; Wood

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