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Official Journal of the Japan Wood Research Society

Journal of Wood Science Cover Image
  • Original Article
  • Open Access

Compressive deformation of wood impregnated with low molecular weight phenol formaldehyde (PF) resin V: effects of steam pretreatment

Journal of Wood ScienceOfficial Journal of the Japan Wood Research Society200652:787

  • Received: 22 July 2005
  • Accepted: 16 November 2005
  • Published:


This study evaluated the potential of steam pre-treatment for making highly compressed phenol-formaldehyde (PF) resin-impregnated wood at a low pressing pressure. Sawn veneers of Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) were first subjected to saturated steam at different steaming temperatures (140°-200°C), followed by impregnation with a 20% low molecular weight PF resin aqueous solution resulting in a weight gain of around 50%-55%. Four oven-dried treated veneers were laminated and compressed up to a pressing pressure of 1 MPa at a pressing temperature of 150°C and pressing speed of 5 mm/min, and the pressure was held for 30 min. Steam treatment, causing partial hydrolysis of hemicellulose, accelerated the compressibility of Japanese cedar in the PF resin-swollen condition. As a consequence, a discernible increment in density was achieved at a pressing pressure of 1 MPa due to steam pretreatment between 140° and 200°C for 10 min. It was also found that even a short steaming time such as 2 min at 160°C is sufficient for obtaining appreciable compression of PF resin-impregnated wood. The density, Young’s modulus, and bending strength of steam-treated (200°C for 10 min) PF resin-impregnated wood composite reached 1.09 g/cm3, 20 GPa, and 207MPa, respectively. In contrast, the values of untreated PF resin-impregnated wood composite were 0.87 g/cm3, 13 GPa, and 170MPa, respectively.

Key words

  • Compressed wood
  • Steam treatment
  • PF resin impregnation
  • Compressive deformation
  • Mechanical properties