Plasma treatment of wood - a review of 15 years of research in Göttingen
P Sauerbier, R Köhler, G Avramidis, W Viöl, H Militz
Wood is an important renewable resource and can be found omnipresent in everyday life. Its natural properties offer numerous advantages regarding physical, mechanical but also aesthetic aspects, but also challenges that one has to address with various modification methods.
Driven by the desire to promote the use of promising new technologies using plasmas, there has been a close research network between the University of Göttingen and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HAWK) Göttingen for more than 15 years. The interdisciplinary research environment bringing together scientists and engineers thus created a beneficial perspective of various core competencies of the partners involved.
The application of atmospheric pressure plasma using air as working gas results in a hydrophilization of the material surface. Resulting from these changes, numerous improvements in the area of adhesion properties of wood and wood-based materials have already been achieved. Improvements of adhesion properties of paint and adhesives could also be shown for both solid wood and wood-plastic composites. This offers a great potential for downstream production steps, such as coatings or bonding in the wood industry. Additionally, improved impregnation behaviour represents a significant improvement, particularly in the area of veneer materials, and offers new opportunities for wet-chemical wood modification.
Protective layers have also been applied on wood and wood based products by various plasma techniques. Biocidal effects have already been achieved with plasma-based application of nanoscale metal particles and functional layers based on e.g. copper. UV-protecting, emission-reducing and self-cleaning layers have been researched as well as solvent free plasma spraying.