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Bonding wood veneer with biobased poly (Lactic Acid) thermoplastic polyesters: potential applications for consolidated wood veneer and overlay products

This study reports on the use of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) as a renewable thermoplastic adhesive for laminated panels using birch, spruce, and pine veneers. Consolidated panels were prepared from veneer and PLA foils by hot-pressing from 140 to 180 ◦C to achieve minimum bondline temperatures. Evaluation of panel properties revealed that the PLA-bonded panels met minimum tensile strength and internal bond strength performance criteria. However, the adhesion interface which developed within individual bondlines varied with distinctions between hardwood and softwood species and PLA grades. Birch samples developed greater bondline strength with a higher pressing temperature using semi-crystalline PLA, whereas higher temperatures produced a poorer performance with the use of amorphous PLA. Panels formed with spruce or pine veneers had lower bondline performance and were also similarly distinguished by their pressing temperature and PLA grade. Furthermore, the potential for PLA-bonded laminated panels was demonstrated by cold water soak testing. Samples exhibiting relatively greater bondline adhesion had wet tensile strength values comparable to those tested in dry state. Our study outcomes suggest the potential for PLA bonding of veneers and panel overlays with the added benefits of being renewable and a no added formaldehyde system.



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