The effect mechanism and properties of poplar wood cross-linking modified with polyols and polycarboxylic acid

Youming Dong*, Silong Gao, Kaili Wang, Xianxu Zhan, Zhiwen Li, Yifan Zhao, Miao Wu, Mark Hughes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Although cross-linking modification by polycarboxylic acid greatly improves dimensional stability and decay resistance, it causes severe brittleness and rigidity in wood. Introducing polyols into the cross-linking network could improve the flexibility of the modified wood, however, the related research is limited, especially the relationship between the strength and the reaction. In this study, poplar wood was modified by cross-linking with 1,2,3,4-butanetetracarboxylic acid (BTCA). D-sorbitol (SO) and sucrose (SU) used as the polyols were introduced to the modification system to esterify with BTCA. The physical and mechanical properties of the resulting wood were investigated. The effect mechanism and microstructure of the wood were also examined. The findings demonstrated that a cross-linked structure was formed in wood with increased ester bonds and ample polymer filling in the lumens. SU has lower leachability than SO. Although the incorporation of polyols has lowered anti-swelling efficiency, the reduction of modulus of rupture caused by BTCA treatment could be redeemed by reducing the degree of cross-linking between BTCA and wood components, especially SO-BTCA treatment. The addition of polyols has slight impact on the modulus of elasticity of BTCA treated wood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1630-1640
Number of pages11
JournalWood Material Science and Engineering
Issue number5
Early online date17 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • brittleness
  • cross-linking modification
  • effect mechanism
  • polycarboxylic acid
  • polyols
  • Wood modification


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