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Materials 2012, 5(10), 1910-1922; doi:10.3390/ma5101910

Monitoring Wood Degradation during Weathering by Cellulose Crystallinity

Department of Engineering for Innovation, University of Salento, via Monteroni, Lecce 73100, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 September 2012 / Revised: 11 October 2012 / Accepted: 17 October 2012 / Published: 19 October 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Cellulosic Materials)
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The degree of crystallinity of cellulose was used for assessing the degradation level of coated and uncoated samples of pine wood after weathering. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy measured the changes in the surface crystallinity of cellulose resulting from weathering, both natural and artificial. Both techniques revealed an increase in the crystallinity index (CI) of cellulose when wood was subjected to weathering. An increase in the size of crystallites was also observed by XRD measurements. These results were related to the reduction of the amorphous fractions of wood, and, consequently, to the enrichment of the relative crystalline content. Thanks to FT-IR analysis, the degradation of hemicellulose was observed for uncoated samples after exposure to artificial weathering. The effect of weathering was less evident on coated samples because of the protective action of the coating. A good correlation between the crystallinity indexes obtained from FT-IR and XRD was found. The experimental results proved that the proposed method may be a very useful tool for a rapid and accurate estimation of the degradation level of wood exposed to weathering. This methodology can find application in the field of conservation and restoration of wooden objects or in the industry of wood coatings. View Full-Text
Keywords: crystallinity; pine wood; X-ray diffraction (XRD); Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR); outdoor weathering; wood coatings; lignin; cellulose; wood degradation crystallinity; pine wood; X-ray diffraction (XRD); Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR); outdoor weathering; wood coatings; lignin; cellulose; wood degradation

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lionetto, F.; Del Sole, R.; Cannoletta, D.; Vasapollo, G.; Maffezzoli, A. Monitoring Wood Degradation during Weathering by Cellulose Crystallinity. Materials 2012, 5, 1910-1922.

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