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Yue, D., Fu, G., and Jin, Z. (2021). "Transparent wood prepared by polymer impregnation of rubber wood (Hevea brasiliensis Muell. Arg)," BioResources 16(2), 2491-2502.

Abstract

Transparent wood (TW), a new type of composite material with good optical transmittance and excellent mechanical properties, has attracted great interest in recent years. In this study, a hydrogen peroxide strategy was used on rubber wood (Hevea brasiliensis Muell. Arg) to eliminate lignin and hemicellulose. Subsequently, delignified wood was combined with each of three impregnants of refractive index similar to that of cellulose to obtain transparent wood (TW). Impregnation with polyvinyl-pyrrolidone (PVP), polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH), and methyl methacrylate (MMA)) resulted in transparent woods, which were named PVP-DRW, PVOH-DRW, and PMMA-DRW, respectively. The micromorphologies, chemical compositions, thermal stabilities, chemical functional groups, optical transmittance, and mechanical properties of the raw RW and of each processed sample were characterized. The results showed that the optical transmittance of PVOH-DRW (76.6%, λ = 600 nm, d=0.70 mm) was similar to that of PVP-DRW (73.4%, λ = 600 nm, d = 0.74 mm) and higher than that of PMMA-DRW (64.6%, λ = 600 nm, d = 0.73 mm), but PMMA-DRW had a higher mechanical strength (fracture strength of 230.14 MPa). Therefore, the preparation of transparent wood with RW as the substrate is expected to be a potential material candidate for high-strength composites.


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