Investigation of Poly(4-Vinylphenol) As a Wood Adhesive


  • Svetlana Peshkova
  • Kaichang Li


Poly(4-vinylphenol), wood adhesive, quinone tanning, marine adhesive


An increasing concern about the effect of emissive VOC (volatile organic compounds), especially formaldehyde, on human health has prompted a need for more environmentally friendly adhesives. Mussels stick to rock or other substances very strongly in seawater through secreting phenolic protein adhesives, termed marine adhesives. The marine adhesives are formaldehyde-free and environmentally friendly. However, the marine adhesives are not readily available. In this study, we investigated whether a polymer, poly(4-vinylphenol) (PVP), containing phenolic hydroxyl groups, but no peptide linkages, could be used as a wood adhesive. The shear strength of wood composites bonded with an aqueous suspension of PVP could reach up to 3 MPa. Addition of 1,6-hexanediamine or diethylene-triamine to the aqueous suspension of PVP resulted in a significant increase of the shear strength. When the molar ratio of the phenolic hydroxyl group in PVP vs. 1,6-hexanediamine was 3:1, the shear strength could be twice as high as when the aqueous suspension alone is used. Curing mechanisms of PVP and 1,6-hexanediamine/diethylenetriamine are believed to be the same as those found in the naturally occurring quinone-tanning process. The adhesion mechanisms by which marine adhesives bond mussels to rock could be applied to development of a formaldehyde-free wood adhesive system.


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