Comparison of traditional surface treatments for wood

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School of Chemical Engineering | Master's thesis
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74 + [13]
It is in general desirable to apply surface finish on wood to protect the surface from unfavourable damages. In preindustrial time, wood material was used without any surface finishes, and only simple treatments were applied. However, many of aged wood surface are still in good condition and their beautiful appearance is inexpressible. Our curiosity toward understanding the reason was the beginning of this research. The main interest of the study was to perform an experimental investigation on the effects of selected traditional surface treatments on solid wood surface. The literature part introduces the traditional surface treatment for wood, which are/were used in Japan and Finland. Descriptions of substances which were used in the treatments are also presented. The experimental part outlines how wood specimen surfaces were treated with the substances introduced in the literature part The experiments were performed with several approaches to examine the effects of the treatments; colour change, water repellence, surface roughness and clean ability. The results exhibited the interesting effects of each traditional surface treatment. An improvement in water repellent property which was even more significant than that of an industrial surface finish was seen in several treatments. In most of the treatments, colour change from the initial wood colour was minute after the treatment, and the clean ability property of the treated specimen surface was poor. Moreover, certain difference in the dirt penetration, depending on the water repellent property which the treated specimen gained, was observed. All the experiments were conducted in the Wood Laboratory in the Department of Forest Products Technology in the School of Chemical Technology, Aalto University. The results obtained from the performed experiments were satisfactorily exhibited. Several recommendations are, however, present. Further investigations with the present specimens which were used in this study, as well as a new series of experiments with new specimens are recommended. Furthermore, a long term research is recommended, where new investigation approaches can be introduced.
Kairi, Matti
Thesis advisor
Vahtikari, Katja
solid wood, traditional surface treatment
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