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    Author(s): Roger M. Rowell; Rebecca E. IbachJames McSweeny; Thomas Nilsson
    Date: 2009
    Source: Wood material science and engineering. Vol. 4, nos. 1/2 (2009) : p. 14-22.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (245.77 KB)


    Reductions in hygroscopicity, increased dimensional stability and decay resistance of heat-treated wood depend on decomposition of a large portion of the hemicelluloses in the wood cell wall. In theory, these hemicelluloses are converted to small organic molecules, water and volatile furan-type intermediates that can polymerize in the cell wall. Reductions in hygroscopicity and improved dimensional stability of acetylated wood depend on esterification of the accessible hemicelluloses in the cell wall reducing hydrogen bonding with water and bulking the cell wall back to its green volume. Stability is not 100% since the water molecule is smaller than the acetyl group so water can access hydroxyl sites even when the wood is fully acetylated. The cell-wall moisture content is too low in acetylated wood to support fungal attack so the initial enzymic attack starting the colonization does not take place. Strength properties are reduced in heat-treated wood owing to the degradation of the cell-wall matrix resulting from the hemicellulose loss. Strength properties are not significantly changed in acetylated wood and acetylation results in greatly improved wet strength and wet stiffness properties.

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    Rowell, Roger M.; Ibach, Rebecca E.; McSweeny, James; Nilsson, Thomas. 2009. Understanding decay resistance, dimensional stability and strength changes in heat treated and acetylated wood. Wood material science and engineering. Vol. 4, nos. 1/2 (2009) : p. 14-22.


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    Hemicellulose, heat treatment, biodegradation, deterioration, chemical reactions, wood preservation, acetylation, wood moisture, wood-decaying fungi, mechanical properties, plant cell walls, wood chemistry, arabinose, bending strength, stiffness, hygroscopicity, dimensional stability, decay fungi, moisture content, durability, acetic anhydride, modified wood, acetylated wood, chemical modification of wood, preservation, resistance to decay, acetyl content, brown-rot fungus, equilibrium moisture content, heat treatment, sugar analysis, weight loss

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