iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Improving dimensional stability of Populus cathayana wood by suberin monomers with heat treatment

Runhua Zhang, Erni Ma   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 14, Issue 4, Pages 313-319 (2021)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor3684-014
Published: Jul 01, 2021 - Copyright © 2021 SISEF

Research Articles

This paper presents a wood modification method using renewable and non-toxic suberin monomers (SMs) under heat treatment to improve dimensional stability of wood from fast-growing species. Specimens of poplar (Populus cathayana) wood were impregnated with SMs and then subjected to heat treatment at 180°C for two hours. The untreated wood (Control), suberin monomers impregnated wood (Sub) and suberin monomers impregnated wood with heat treatment (Sub 180°C) were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The hygroscopicity and dimensional stability of modified wood were evaluated. The results showed that SMs in the treated wood were located in the cell lumen of fibers and vessels, as well as in the cell wall which was bulked. The dimensional stability of SMs modified wood was improved, and this enhancement became more pronounced by a combination with heat treatment. The anti-swelling efficiency of Sub and Sub 180°C treatments were 30.0% and 49.6%, respectively. The presented results showed potential of SMs treatment to develop an effective modification approach and improve dimensional stability of wood of fast-growing species, as well as to promote the reuse of suberin from the bark.


Poplar, Wood Modification, Suberin, Dimensional Stability, Heat Treatment

Authors’ address

Runhua Zhang
Erni Ma 0000-0001-9774-9779
MOE Key Laboratory of Wooden Material Science and Application, Beijing Forestry University, Qinghua Eastroad 35, Haidian 100083, Beijing (China)

Corresponding author



Zhang R, Ma E (2021). Improving dimensional stability of Populus cathayana wood by suberin monomers with heat treatment. iForest 14: 313-319. - doi: 10.3832/ifor3684-014

Academic Editor

Giacomo Goli

Paper history

Received: Oct 27, 2020
Accepted: Apr 19, 2021

First online: Jul 01, 2021
Publication Date: Aug 31, 2021
Publication Time: 2.43 months

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