Effects of UV Light Irradiation on Color Changes in Thermally Modified Rubber Wood Based on FTIR

Xiaowen Li, Tongtong Li, Guanjun Li, Min Li, Quanji Lu, Shaoshan Qin, Jianing Li


To evaluate the effects of chemical changes during thermal modification on the resistance of wood against photodegradation, heat-treated specimens of rubber wood (Hevea brasiliensis) were exposed to ultraviolet light for 384 h. The color changes in the exposed wood surfaces were analyzed using a colorimeter; the chemical changes were monitored using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The photoweathering performances of rubber wood treated at 155 °C for 2 h, 155 °C for 6 h, and 185 °C for 2 h were similar to that of untreated wood, as the lignin did not undergo profound chemical transformation under mild modification conditions. However, compared to untreated rubber wood, the photoaging performances of rubber wood treated at 185 °C for 6 h and 215 °C for 2 h were notably changed. The transformation process was confirmed by FTIR. A good linear relationship between color change and lignin degradation was observed after mild, but not severe, heat treatment. The concentration of carbonyl groups in the wood specimens generally increased during photoaging, although not all samples showed a good correlation between color change and the concentration of carbonyl groups. Only the photochromic performance of wood changed notably when lignin was extensively modified under severe heat-treatment conditions.


Rubber wood; Thermal modification; Color; Photostability; FTIR

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