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X-ray methods to observe and quantify adhesive penetration into wood


Nayomi Z. Plaza
Warren Grigsby
Daniel J. Ching
Fred Kamke
Sophie-Charlotte Gleber
Stefan Vogt
Xianghui Xiao



Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

Forest Products Laboratory


Journal of Materials Science. 39: 215-229.


To accelerate development of new and improved wood adhesives for engineered wood products, the optimal adhesive penetration into wood needs to be better understood for specific products and applications. Adhesive penetration includes both flow of adhesives into wood micron-scale voids and infiltration into the polymer components of the wood cell wall layers. In this work, X-ray computed tomography (XCT) and X-ray fluorescence microscopy (XFM) were used to study adhesive flow and infiltration. Model wood–adhesive bondlines were made using loblolly pine(Pinus taeda)latewood substrates and bromine-substituted phenol formaldehyde (BrPF) resins with different weight-average molecular weights (Mw). The Br substitution facilitated both qualitative and quantitative observations using XCT and XFM. The BrPF resin flow into wood was visualized usingXCT volume reconstructions and quantified by calculating the weighted penetration (WP). Examination of the shape of the cured BrPF–air interface in longitudinal tracheid lumina revealed that capillary action often played a role in BrPF flow. XFM mapping revealed the pathways of BrPF infiltration into the wood cell walls, and the results were used to calculate BrPF cell wall weight percent gain (WPGcw)in individual wood cell walls. Both WP and WPGCW decreased with increasing BrPF Mw. Additionally, the middle lamella had higher WPGCW than its neighboring secondary cell walls, and within a given bondline the WPGcw decreased with increasing distance of the cell from the bondline. The results provide new insights that are needed in the development of improved models to understand and predict wood–adhesive bondline performance.


Jakes, Joseph E.; Frihart, Charles R.; Hunt, Christopher G.; Yelle, Daniel J.; Plaza, Nayomi Z.; Lorenz, Linda; Grigsby, Warren; Ching, Daniel J.; Kamke, Fred; Gleber, Sophie-Charlotte; Vogt, Stefan; Xiao, Xianghui. 2018. X-ray methods to observe and quantify adhesive penetration into wood. Journal of Materials Science. 39: 215-229.


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