Xylan as green binder for wood adhesives
Wood adhesives are mainly prepared from polymers derived from petroleum-based resources. With the increasing concern for the environment, it is necessary to find alternatives derived from bio-based resources that can replace petroleum-based polymers. To enable this transition it is important that the adhesive properties in terms of bond strength, water resistance and heat resistance are similar, and that the alternative can compete in terms of cost. Hemicelluloses are a byproduct from the pulp industry. From environmental and economic perspectives it is preferable to utilize all components from wood and decrease the amount of low-value byproducts.
Dispersions demonstrate promising results
However, xylan itself cannot be used as a wood adhesive due to its limited bonding performance, especially regarding the water resistance. With the addition of dispersing agents, poly(vinyl alcohol) or poly(vinyl amine), and crosslinkers, such as glyoxal or hexa(methoxymethyl) melamine, the xylan dispersions demonstrate promising results. Wood veneers bonded with xylan dispersions and evaluated with Automated Bonding Evaluation System (ABES), demonstrate a good bond strength and surprisingly good water resistance.
Classified as D1 and WATT 91 adhesives
Several xylan dispersions fulfill the D1 and WATT 91 requirements for wood adhesives according to European Standards EN 204 and EN 14257, exhibiting good bond strength and heat resistance. Xylan dispersed in a poly(vinyl amine) solution also shows remarkable water resistance and reaches the threshold for the D2 criterion according to European Standard EN 204.
The study is published in: European Polymer Journal, Volume 67, June 2015, Pages 483-493.