Parametric study of a yellow birch surface impregnation process

Article de Mariana Frias, Pierre Blanchet, André Bégin-Drolet, Juliette Triquet & Véronic Landry


Wood is a renewable resource that has been used as a material in appearance products for years. Despite its acceptable mechanical resistance, different modification processes were developed to enhance wood’s hardness and make it an even more durable material. Impregnating wood pores with monomers under vacuum-pressure cycle is a common method for that purpose. However, most implemented processes are long and mostly submerge wood into a monomer formulation (Bethell’s full-cell process). For that, they can be considered wasteful on the quantity of materials used, energy consumed and on process duration. The objective of this paper was to evaluate the parameters that influence the penetration of monomers into the tangential surface of Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis Brit.) samples. The analyzed factors were the monomer formulation’s viscosity, the surface temperature, the vacuum level applied to the process, the anatomy of samples, and the absorption time. After impregnation, the weight gain of the samples was calculated. Monomer penetration depth was calculated and visualized using density profiles and micro X-ray tomography imaging. Results showed that using a low viscosity monomer formulation allied to a certain level of vacuum and absorption time can considerably increase the impregnation into the wood.

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