Compression Strength of Fir and Beech Wood Modified by Citric Acid
Research subject and fields:
Previous articles have shown that modification of wood by citric acid (CA) improves dimensional stability and resistance of wood against fungi attack. However, chemical modification of wood also modifies its mechanical properties in some way. The compression strength of wood is one of its representative mechanical properties. Modified wood with lower values of compression strength has limited purpose. The intention of this work is to show the effect of wood modification by citric acid on the compression strength of wood. Fir wood (Abies alba Mill.) and beech wood (Fagus sylvatica L.) were impregnated by citric acid with sodium-dihydrogen-hypophosphite (NaH2PO2) as a catalyst. Part of the impregnated samples together with control samples were cured at the temperature of 140 °C for 10 hours and the remaining samples were cured in microwaves for 35 minutes. The average compression strength parallel to the grain of wood modifi ed by CA, using different regimes of curing, was compared to the strength of unmodifi ed wood. The average compression strength parallel to the grain of wood was retained after modification. In the case of fir wood, the average compression strength was even improved after modification. The results indicate that wood modified by citric acid may be considered for the purposes where compression strength properties are equally important as improved durability and dimensional stability of wood.