Table of Contents
Journal of Nanoparticles
Volume 2013, Article ID 273204, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/273204
Research Article

Metal Oxide Sol-Gels (, AlO(OH), and ) to Improve the Mechanical Performance of Wood Substrates

FPInnovations, 319 Franquet, Quebec, QC, Canada G1P 4R4

Received 8 December 2012; Accepted 9 April 2013

Academic Editor: Joseph Koo

Copyright © 2013 Véronic Landry et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Wood is a renewable material widely used in many applications due to its unique properties and distinctive look. However, as wood is organically constituted, it is slowly destroyed by the long-term impact of oxygen, UV radiations, water, and biological attacks (Mahltig et al., 2008). Therefore, protective treatments are necessary to improve the mechanical, thermal, and chemical properties of wood. In order to improve the mechanical properties of sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.), as this species is widely used in the wood products industry, samples of sugar maple were impregnated with sols of metal oxides (AlO(OH), SiO2, and ZrO2). The weight gain and two different techniques of microscopy were used to evaluate the efficiency of the impregnation in the wood samples. The mechanical properties were evaluated using hardness test, scratch test, and impact test. It was shown that the maple samples impregnated with ZrO2 led to the greatest improvement of the mechanical properties.