The Effect of Flavonoids on Colour and Spectral Changes of the Wood Surface Caused by Heat Treatment or Ultra-violet Irradiation

IRG/WP 06-40341

R Csonka-Rákosa, L Molnár-Hamvas, E Börcsök, J Molnár, K Németh

Both heat treatment and UV irradiation can cause discolouration and change in the spectral properties of wood surface. Some of the characteristic flavonols have significant role on colour and spectral changes, despite of their relative small quantities in wood. Colour changes and spectral properties of natural and extracted black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) and poplar (Populus nigra L.) were investigated by CIELAB colour measurement system, FTIR and UV/Vis spectrophotometry. Spectral properties of representative flavonols, impregnated on inert silica gel thin layer, were studied in addition to the two types of wood samples. Chemical structure of flavonols was established to have both influence on the colour and spectral changes of woods and close connection with their thermal and photo stability. A slow but continuous decrease of lightness was observed in the case of quercetin and its homologous compounds. Chemical reaction of robinetin was detected by thermal analysis and differential scanning calorimetry under 200 °C and both oxidative and inert conditions. The colour changes of quercetin homolog compounds, kaempferol and fisetin, which contain one and two hydroxyl group on their “B” ring, are similar to quercetin; while myricetin with three hydroxyl groups on its “B” ring shows “robinetin-type” changes. The colour changes of the hardwoods are depended on the time and temperature of heating, as well as on the time of light irradiation. The character of spectral changes of black locust can be classified on the type of robinetin, in contrast with the “quercetin-type” of poplar.

Keywords: thermal and photo degradation, colour changes, spectrophotometry, robinetin, quercetin, black locust, poplar

Conference: 06-06-18/22 Tromsoe, Norway

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