Superhydrophobic treatment of Norway spruce wood for improvement of its resistance against brown rot and moulds
A Kumar, P Ryparová, P Hajek, B Kričej, M Pavlič, A S Škapin, M Šernek, J Tywoniak, J Žigon, M Petrič
Water repellence of wood can be increased and its some other properties influenced by introduction of hydrophobic chemicals into and on cell walls without affecting the wood’s bulk density due to lumen filling. Herein, a simple dipping method to insert octadecyltrichlorosilane (OTS) into cell walls and to deposit the self-assembled hydrophobic monolayers (SAMs) of OTS is reported. It was found out that the treatment of Norway spruce wood with OTS caused superhydrophobicity of the specimens. At the same time, liquid water uptake was reduced, the equilibrium moisture content lowered and the dimensional stability in terms of the anti-swelling efficiency was increased. Hydrophobicity and lower equilibrium moisture content are believed to be the reason for the observed increased resistance of the treated samples against Coniophora puteana and moulds.
Keywords: alkylsilane, superhydrophobicity, liquid water uptake, equilibrium moisture content, anti-swelling efficiency, resistance against brown rot and moulds