Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (3.6 MB)

Title: Enhancing durability of wood-based composites with nanotechnology

Author: Clausen, Carol;

Date: 2012

Source: USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, General Technical Report, FPL-GTR-218, 2012; pp. 8-12.

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

Description: Wood protection systems are needed for engineered composite products that are susceptible to moisture and biodeterioration. Protection systems using nano-materials are being developed to enhance the durability of wood-based composites through improved resistance to biodeterioration, reduced environmental impact from chemical leaching, and improved resistance to ultraviolet (UV) degradation. Three approaches will be presented: (1) direct application of nanometals to wood-based products, (2) slow release of biocides embedded in nano-polymer matrices, and (3) controlled delivery of biocides with a nano-carrier. In the first approach, wood was vacuum impregnated with nano-sized particles of metals commonly used in wood preservative formulations (e.g., zinc and copper). Nano-zinc oxide particles were shown to be leach resistant, protected against UV degradation, and acted as a termite toxicant when compared to soluble zinc, a key component of the wood preservative ammoniacal copper zinc arsenate and zinc borate. In the second approach, self-assembling hyperbranched nano-polymers were loaded with an organic biocide. The complex surface of the nano-polymer encapsulated the biocide until a change in the physical environment (i.e., elevated heat or moisture) triggered its release. Nano-polymer encapsulation could provide long-term protection of composites as a surface treatment. In the third approach, nano-tubules made from an inert material served as a carrier for organic biocides. Loaded nano-tubules released the biocide in a slow, controlled fashion and provided superior protection of heat-labile organic biocides during the fabrication process compared to treatment with the biocide alone. Loaded nano-tubules may be used for surface application, pressure impregnation, or as an additive to engineered products.

Keywords: nanocellulose, nanofibril, nanocrystal, biocomposite, wood product

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Clausen, Carol A. 2012. Enhancing Durability of Wood-Based Composites with Nanotechnology. USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, General Technical Report, FPL-GTR-218, 2012; pp. 8-12.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.