The influence of chemical compounds on wood cell wall to surface cracks

IRG/WP 20-40908

R Suzuki, Y Mori, K Yoshihiro, K Yamashita, M Kiguchi

Degradation due to cracking and dimensional changes caused by drying, have a significantly negative impact on the preservation and durability of wood. Therefore, the prevention of surface cracking, which tends to occur during the drying process, is vital. High temperature set drying is one of the most effective methods for preventing wood surface cracking. It begins with softening the wood at a high temperature (100°C–120°C), allowing the surface to dry all at once, which deliberately forms a drying set. However, the mechanism by which wood surface cracks are prevented using the high temperature set method is yet unclear. In attempting to identify the said mechanism, this study focused on changes in the chemical components of the wood cell wall, particularly changes in hemicellulose, and discusses the hygrothermal (moisture and heat) impact on the chemical constituents of wood cell walls. There was no quantitative change to the cell wall’s chemical components due to hygrothermal treatment (HTT) at approximately 120°C. However, analysis of arabinoglucronoxylan (AGX) showed that its molecular weight was decreased significantly by the said treatment, indicating that the main chain structure of hemicellulose in the cell wall is significantly affected.

Keywords: surface cracking, hemicellulose, wood cell wall, hygrothermal treatment

Conference: 20-06-10/11 IRG51 Webinar

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