POLYMER COMPOSITES, vol.21, no.2, pp.196-201, 2000 (SCI-Expanded)
Wood is an important raw material that is cheap and easily worked. However, wooden objects are subject to environmental attack and mechanical shocks. In this study, our aim is to preserve wooden objects against environmental deterioration and mechanical shocks on to consolidate objects already degraded. Allyl alcohol (AA), acrylonitrile (AN), methyl methacrylate (MMA) and AA/AN, AA/MMA monomer mixtures were impregnated into oak and cedar. Polymerization was accomplished by gamma irradiation. The mechanical properties and the dimensional stability of the wood-copolymer composites were determined. The presence of polymer and copolymer in the wood increased the mechanical durability of the wood. The results of the hardness tests and the compressive strengths determined in parallel and perpendicular directions to the fibers revealed that P(AA/MMA), P(AA/AN) copolymers are effective in increasing the mechanical durability of pristine-oak and cedar woods. Similar results were also obtained from hardness tests. The decrease in the mechanical durability of pristine-oak and cedar woods after aging for 28 days is slight. The water uptake capacity of wood + copolymer composites was observed to decrease by more than 50% compared with the original samples. In the cedar wood, where the density is low and the quantity of copolymer is high, this decrease ranged from 100% to 50%.