Effect of Heat Treatment or Alkali Treatment of Veneers on the Mechanical Properties of Eucalyptus Veneer/Polyethylene Film Plywood Composites

Wei Song, Wenbang Wei, Congrong Ren, Shuangbao Zhang


New plywood composites for furniture and interior decoration were developed with eucalyptus veneers using polyethylene films as formaldehyde-free adhesives. To enhance the interfacial adhesion, the veneers were modified with an oven treatment (temperature: 100, 120, 140, and 160 °C; time: 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 h) or by soaking in a sodium hydroxide (NaOH) solution (concentration: 3%, 7%, and 11%; time: 12, 24, and 36 h). The effects of these treatments on the mechanical properties (flexural strength, MOR; flexural modulus, MOE; wet shear strength, WSS) of the composites were studied. Both treatments improved the three properties of the composites. The heat treatment was better at improving the shear property, while the alkali treatment was better at improving the flexural properties. For the heat treatment, the highest WSS was 81.1% higher than the untreated group. The optimum conditions for the heat treatment were 140 °C and 1.0 h. For the alkali treatment, the highest MOR and MOE were 267.5% and 173.7% higher than the untreated group, respectively. The optimum conditions for the alkali treatment were 3% and 36 h. The changes to the veneer surfaces were determined by scanning electron microscopy.


Plywood composites; Formaldehyde emission; Formaldehyde-free adhesives; High-density polyethylene films; Interface compatibility; Heat treatment; Alkali treatment; Sodium hydroxide (NaOH); Mechanical properties

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