Application of The Lifshitz-van Der Waals Acid-base Approach To Determine Wood Surface Tension Components


  • Douglas J. Gardner


Wood, surface tension, contact angle, Lifshitz-van der Waals/acid-base, pH


Improvements are being made in the fundamental descriptions of surface thermodynamics, and it is important to apply these new concepts to wood. The purpose of this paper is to determine wood surface tension components using the Lifshitz-van der Waals/acid-base approach. Zisman plot, geometric-mean, and harmonic-mean wood surface tension determinations are also made for comparative purposes. Lifshitz-van der Waal forces appear to account for the majority of wood surface tension, and the acid-base character comes primarily from the electron donating γ-sites. The contribution of γ-sites on the wood surface to fundamental wood-adhesive interactions may have considerable implications in the gluing and finishing technology of wood, and it deserves further study. The Lifshitz-van der Waals/acid-base approach provides for greater accuracy in calculating wood surface tension components than the geometric-mean and harmonic-mean equations because it is based on the contribution of contact angles from five liquids versus two liquids. In some instances, the critical surface tension of wood obtained using Zisman plots compares favorably with the total surface tension obtained by the Lifshitz-van der Waals/acid-base approach.


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