Effect of thermal and chemical modifications on the dimensional stability of Triplochiton scleroxylon (Obeche) wood

Author(s): IdowuAdekunle,Olaniran, Oluyinka Samuel, Fabiyi, James Sunday, Oluyege,Amos Olajide

This study examined the dimensional stability of thermal and chemically modified Triplochiton scleroxylon (Obeche) wood. Sample planks were obtained froma local sawmill and converted to produce defect free samples of dimensions of 20 mm × 20 mm × 10 mm. wood samples were ovendried at 105°C and cooled in a desiccator to a constant weight before the treatments. Heat treatments of samples were carried out in aMuffle furnace at 160 and 200°C for 30, 60 and 120 min. Butyl acetate was used for chemical treatment. The test samples were analyzed with Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). Dimensional stability of the test samples and untreated (control)weremeasured with parameters such as anti-swelling efficiency (ASE), volumetric swelling (S), and water absorption (WA). Results showed that WA and S values decreased with increase in temperature and treatment time. At a treatment time of 120 minutes, compared with the control, lower values of 11.18 % and 9.23 % were obtained forWAat 160 and 200°C respectively. Volumetric swelling values of 7.31% and 6.06% were obtained at the same temperature and treatment time. Anti-swelling efficiency values also increased with increase in temperature and treatment time. Chemical treatment with butyl acetate produced the highest ASE of 70.41%. These results indicate that the sorption properties of T. scleroxylon wood were reduced as a result of the thermal and chemical modification treatments. Thus, it can be inferred that the treated wood will exhibit a measure of resistance to problems such as bio-deterioration and dimensional instability following ingress of water during use.

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