Applicability of supercritical carbon dioxide to the preservative treatment of wood-based composites
M Muin, A Adachi, K Tsunoda
Treatability of five structural-use wood-based composites (medium density fiberboard, hardwood plywood, softwood plywood, particleboard and oriented strand board) was evaluated when supercritical (SC) carbon dioxide (CO2) was used as a carrier solvent. Treatments were conducted at three temperature 32 levels (25, 35 and 45°C) and two pressure levels [80 kgf/cm2 (7,845 kPa) and 120 kgf/cm2 (11,768 kPa)]. Although small changes in weight and thickness of the wood-based composites were caused by treatments with SC-CO2, all treated materials did not sustain any physical damage. These results suggest that the treatment conditions provided the immediate penetration of SC-CO2 into the wood-based composites without any critical pressure gradient between outer and inner zones. Strength properties of the treated wood-based composites significantly improved after treatments in most cases. In contrast, a remarkable drop in strength properties occurred in oriented strand board specimens. Further studies are underway to determine the optimum treatment conditions using biocides incorporated into the mixing or treating vessel.