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    Author(s): Richard BergmanRebecca E. Ibach; Constantine LaPasha; Joseph Denig
    Date: 2009
    Source: Forest products journal. Vol. 59, no. 10 (Oct. 2009): pages 64-71.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (648.93 KB)


    Because of the large percentage of juvenile wood in small-diameter southern pine, this material has lower strength properties compared with the historic published values in the ASTM Standard D2555. Finding new, simple, and inexpensive ways of increasing these strength properties would increase the use of this material for residential construction. For this study, we chose in situ polymerization using the monomer 1,6-hexanediol dimethacrylate to enhance bending strength and stiffness. After determining the lower range of density, modulus of rupture (MOR), and modulus of elasticity (MOE) of juvenile wood from small southern pine logs, southern pine specimens were polymerized using both a vacuum-impregnation and a surface-application approach. The results showed some significant physical property increases for the fully impregnated material that used a large amount of monomer. Although the surface-application approach used less monomer, the physical properties of the juvenile wood did not increase as expected. Only the 1-minute dip treatment showed a significant increase in both bending stiffness and strength, with a weight gain of 11.9 percent. For the surface-application approach, monomer moving to the wood surface during polymerization reduced their effectiveness in increasing MOR and MOE to the expected levels. Therefore, the challenge is finding a method that maintains polymer loading inside the wood structure during the curing process.

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Bergman, Richard; Ibach, Rebecca E.; LaPasha, Constantine; Denig, Joseph. 2009. Evaluating physical property changes for small-diameter, plantation-grown southern pine after in situ polymerization of an acrylic monomer. Forest products journal. Vol. 59, no. 10 (Oct. 2009): pages 64-71.


    Composite materials, mechanical properties, elasticity, wood plastic composites, monomers, plastic-impregnated wood, deterioration, southern pines, bending, wood density, juvenile wood, polymers, polymerization, strength, wood-plastic materials, modulus of elasticity, impregnation, 1, 6-hexanediol dimethacrylate, smallwood, bending strength, small-diameter timber, small timbers, stiffness

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