Improvement of some technological and biological properties of poplar wood by impregnation with aqueous macromolecular compounds
R D Peek, H Militz, J J Kettenis
Poplars (Populus spp) belong to the most important tree species in afforestation programs of the Netherlands. Due to their rapid growth, the wood quality is usually low. Therefore, studies were performed to elucidate whether some technological properties and the resistance against fungal attack could be improved by impregnation with water-soluble resins. The results showed that swelling and shrinkage of poplar wood may considerably be reduced by a treatment with certain resins. The anti-shrink efficiency (ASE) strongly depends upon the resin type. An air-curing alkydresin based on polybutadiene and an air-curing acrylate modified alkydresin emulsion caused the best effects. Additions of wood preservatives to the resins further improved the ASE. Some disadvatages of the tested resins may be seen in their leachability with consequent loss of the dimension-stabilizing effects. The resins by themselves don't reveal fungistatic properties but an impregnation of poplar wood with these materials led in all cases to a better durability against Coniophora puteana and Coriolus versicolor. Leaching procedures influenced the durability in various ways. With resin/fungicide combinations, a good resistance against Coriolus versicolor could be reached even after leaching. SEM and EDXA methods were used to localize the resins in the cell walls and lumina and to detect the growth of mycelium in the specimens.