Possible uses of improved woods and wood-base plastics in the furniture industry


Material Information

Possible uses of improved woods and wood-base plastics in the furniture industry
Series Title:
Report ;
Physical Description:
4 p. : ; 26 cm.
Stamm, Alfred J ( Alfred Joaquim ), b. 1897
Forest Products Laboratory (U.S.)
University of Wisconsin
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory
Place of Publication:
Madison, Wis
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Wood -- Utilization   ( lcsh )
Fiber-reinforced plastics   ( lcsh )
Furniture making   ( lcsh )
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Statement of Responsibility:
by Alfred J. Stamm.
General Note:
Caption title.
General Note:
"December 1944"--Cover.
General Note:
"In cooperation with the University of Wisconsin"--Cover.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 029316034
oclc - 755804048
System ID:

Full Text
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December 1944

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No. IP1482

Madison, Wisconsin
In C.pwaion with the Uain rity of Wcomit

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ALF-UID J. STA2 ., Chemist

Recent publicity on v-,rious improved. .ooi! en., L.lastics .as raised
the question in the furniture m"-ufacturer's rin' as t t the .:o:siboilities
of u.'- these materials in furniture. Much research _nd development "by.
irn-ustry, b: the Forest Yvro-.P,.ots Laboratory, an' b-" other research organr.i-
zation-'. is t-.kin- place 'i rn'-.nry significant aia:,tation".- .i :-.ew products
-...ve been develorei. These n'ro.-cts z.-,y have a '.efinite nlace in certain
furniture ..rts, b.t rrob.-bvly will not be practical for use in furiit-u'e
as a "hole. The extent of their use will dert.:n on t,.,: cost ai. t'.he
de-ree of incr,"roe.' servicenility. Altho-,:-.. no definite fi7ires on )ost-
war costs can be determined, at the -rre"ent time, it is apparent tht for
so:;e :Ly:n'lications the increase, cost will be srnall, whilee for others the
increase in raw material pr". ,rocevsni.:v costs na- 'r `e .' much as threefoli.
In cert-i,-. uses, however, this increase"4 material and .':se-:'y cost will
~c pirti:.l.?' offset cy a "-1.*l, er finishir.- cost.

A brief review of the nature -r.'n'. i:,ropertics o:' so:',e of the.e :-.e"
materials mawr aid the f-.irr-.iture pr.ufct'rer in deci.i.- which of t'.e new
pro'..-cts he r.i ht co sider for use irn th.e n.Lac. "e o his Trticular
:io 'uct t

S170 e-- ..Ct

t"I.-,.'-cC" is the .-:.-ce iiven to the --.eral ro--.-.: of re7in-i;.r'e .-iate.,
co'nrcred 'oc; tht. is, "oo t! at. h-s bee- treat'. with nl.enolic or
urea ron si:--'or:.n- syst,-. uner condition s.c, that : rcs:ir. is formed
thro. Lhorit the inti.,te structure of thi, wood.. ":.er s c. co'.4itiors zon-
sifer-clo -Mr..e.-sional stability is i'.- rt c; O to the won:. AIt: 'o'.-. rhe:-.olic
resins are more ex- e.-" ive th;::. urea ri-:inz, the& r* C the ec7ilibri':.
:'-.lln- to .:")out 30 percent of nor-ial in contr.'t with a r,'. action. to -C
rrcrcont o' normal ow'tr.:.blo wit" .ra r-.i.n (-',r st a'olct laborrto:-v
7r.lloy-C or commercial ".ro lvcts of ilpr c.-.-r: cter ,ti'-s). .. urea
resins, however, o ::-.ot 'i.color 1,0oo0 an "'- *h.e vj-" .\olic rsi..s ".
th r..'. .,.,: r.o0 sibl t'..-' o t.-v.i-." o. truer coloe' in "' .' at the timo

r--: tryp.t 'nt.*

-P "li'. ed in "'oo'-1 Pro ';. tz, J.-. r.'-i 1.r- ; i:. -.--t 'ili.' !-o . rnishiiv- s,
Feb""ry Ir' -.

R,-crort I'Q. "-.lh-"" -I-

Tho chief imrprovomont in the properties of impreg over natural wood
for us.. in furniture appears to be the. reduced swelling :'nq shrinking and
the aV 'oropan-'in- reduction in checking and war.,inj. Phenolic-resin triat-
men', also imparts aprreciable decay and termite resistance and chemical
resistance to w-ood. Althovu.-h neither resin treatment gives fire resistance,
incorTorating fire-retardant salts with the treating resin will give fire-
retarda-t properties to the product. The only strength properties that are
significantly increased by resin treatment are the compressive strength and
the `>r'L,-ess, the latter of which mnv be increased from 50 to 100 percent.
This i:; accompanied by a decrease in toughness. Data on wear resistance
are still lac:irq.

Veneer of almost all species can be used in the manufacture of
impreg. 'fith the exception of sap-oodL of readily treated species, ho,,ever,
solid. 'rood in lengths greater than a foot cannot be adequately treated. In
addition, the complete treatment of solid wood will be too expensive for
t'ie benefits gained. A surface treatment of solid wood. does not improve
the properties to the degree that niiht be ex.ecte,.. It appears, therefore,
that resin treatment of wood for furniture will be largely confined to
veneer %:ar!. will not be used on solid wood furniture.

The treatment of surface veneers, especially in the form of fancy
crotches and burls, seems well worth -i:Aile, dcue to the greatly reduced
face c'iec':iing resulting, from the treatment. In matched, fancy, decorative
veneers, ,,-Aich are often valued at 50 cents to $2 per square foot, the
resin and treatment cost need not exceed 1 to 2 cents per square foot.
Two panels, one with a phenolic-resin-troated crotch veneer face and the
other with a matched untreated face, were held under normal room conditions
at the Forest Products Laborator- for four years. A vast improvement was
noted in the treated panel; for the control contained many face checks,
whereas the treated panel was free from face checks.


"Comprog" is resin-treated wood that is compressed prior to the
sottin' of the resin. The s:ocific gravity can vary from that of impreg
(about 15 to 20 percent greater than that of the untreated wood) up to
1.4. Coru'prcg has imtrovcd properties similar to those of impreg plus a
natural glossy surface finish and improved strength properties about in
proportion to the compression. 'Tcn compreg is compressed to a specific
gravity of about 1.0 or greater, any cut surface can be sanded and buffed
to give a natural, urable, and solvont-resistart finish. The wood is
finish,:,. t1-oLui.-out, an,. all that is needed to brin,;- out the finish is
making the surface plane. Scratche-s anO mars, t.c;-ctfore, which should
only infreoq,'ntlly occur to comprog furniture because of: its har -dnoss, can
bc rcj-no0'. .-. by sau.in. n-' uffin-_ and the original finish restored without
th. neccssit,- of applyin{, a finish.

Report ITo. Rl49g2


Corq)ro- can be miaee frr(,:. soft, inferio- s-. ecies that nor:.aally are
not -ire-1. for furnit'ire p:. a io-uct obtained' eru.-il i;' -.pl.e.arance an'.. in
C' :oGt all stren,'-t.h roe:'ties .o comTpre mnaie fro7a birch or marle.

T?.i:c': la.ii'.-,tc- comnre '.*will be too e:qxpenive, in general, for
furniture. It .T.iht be u"ed, ho-ever, in special expensive fur'.it'u.ire
.,r.ere sle.i er le, :,i"e deoir.:.i a3 a rest o' its iA r.ccia z)- i.icr -.a ed
stifft.L':, Its -reateqt arp.lication a ears to be in face v.eneers. "o:a.
so.io of thc :r(fter secies arc used, Trartia.ilr co-,-ressed comnrec c.'. 'c
s':':lt-- .co". lv co:-.*resse a.. .'e l ....-e--'..e ",it?. an '-.trcatc' *'.ood coreo in
one o.c'r-.tion without comiress in, the core. This is 'ue to t:'.e fact t.-.t
the treated faces -re l'-.tic u-i'er heat -rior .r sett i-." of th' r,.i"
:_.d t illi, in somc woo"., compress to alout onr.e-;.. f t"eir ori -i r. .1 t i-ci:-.
-. zi o un cr a *:r-.s'o of onlr o".0 w.ou !.s ,c sqar inci, w.ich )rLssure
causes a L,'l'i.iblo c, 2o-'ro'sion of most .r-' ,"oo*. cores. .ar: r surifcu
-'.' hI lr d'c,Tee of natur;'l finish c b... otii.. *"en the f-'c are
s0paratel coD. ressed to a hi her doe-rLu anI *t sO.-'bl"'. ,ri4th the -ore.
".C:-. t*.-.. nct:.o' is _sud the comir r z. u:face t. 'e r'l':, st .. sad, d to
cive a !luc bo.-.,:'1.

Oonbr: is susc-2tible to a ccrtin- oo oq.' foriA.-rn rior to
setti..' o thW resin in t'. -.-. u acturin..' roc.'is. rrc s': to conto-:.r
of office au d theatre scats is iite ,os'iblo.

St mrpak

"St'y,-,. is solic, or la-]ainate woo.9 cont.-.i.-.i., no rc i. 'in i+"
the ,wooi, structure anr. is com'rosse. to a s-ccific r..'it- of 1.3 to 1I-'
undc-: con- itions su.," that it ,.31l not ton-" to -*:...f ," .n.cr sL'12.i.-
conditions. It is not so resistant to swcllin,-i shri li.-._ as co',-rc-,
h;t is moro rosista-.t than normal woo. It >-i a natnr-1 satin fi--ish in
contr:.st to the gloss- finish o comprr-. It mi K.t b. us.. for sl"n1 r
table 1<-.*. as ,a .s-. t for co .r( : ",od i c) r, .i'o crn r h .Ca ;.r.
,...,t 'or co, / ] ]
It could1 bI usse for table t',:* in both soli" an- -.f-c' veneer for-.
., sta ilizi.* orocr !- 1a'],.r.- the 'o00- to some extoit, '.-. woo*ls ta':in._
on th color of walnut an,' ",one l, co. i'.i oven 5...r...r. ... o".Ir s-.'c:'s
t: t 5o-,'i'. 'be avroi'r.1 for i-i st p.-, are t e re.'.inous inec. Like
c'-.- r'-, sta,'- ": 1 i -r- !es t1e inferior s ecies; cotton, oo.", bfi.sswro., a-nd.d
alier, for exa:. le, give as '.r'.tif'.1 nd practiQ ''. -',. tron.; a 0roluct
as bi-c' or ;.mle.

Irox:jl i ___i

'r0o:.:?lin., or li ..i- rtic, r.. it i- so,, tti. is calle', 'r a
..... 're,-.-.: to black .h "rolyz,. -woo4 l-':;tic .a~e either fro. s,."ust or
to "bih' cost ort l
\,''., c.,s in a eol "o,'er or -, i:....ti-. sh",t for.... .1t cost, 'ater
.','"i t- .c.:, ..c[..- icnl -,c-ties 'ill de c.. to a ll'r e re-ree on
the :.**.o j..t *.' tv'-, o- resin e .,*: l. tici-er. .e most ,at r'-
r'si, tant form cont,' i some L" .ollc resi.. A 'o', c. -L .*i1 '-ro'ertie


is, however, mole withoutu t the use of critical ruF.in. Because of its dark
color, its potential use in furniture manufacture would. be principally con-
fined. to use Ps a core material. The hy-.rolQzed-wood sheets can be lami-
nated with. veneer or pi^-rented resin-treated pa,)er faces. Its specific
gravit" is about 1.4, similar to fully compressed conIreg, staypak, and.
the p)aper-base plastics. Although it is not so strong as t-ese other densi-
fie ~;.i,2.terials, it has adequate strength for man- furniture uses and should
be definitely cheai:er.

Paper-base Plastics

Paper-base plastics have alre.d.:- been used in furniture manuf-.ctui're
for table t,' counter tops. Beautiful surface larnin ites with high water
an,' acid. resistance have been prodrluced.. Surfaces with linen-like appear-
ance are beiiv made entirely from r'.-jer-base plastics, using urea or
meli-.ii'e resins and pigmented ,er.

Since the iar, high-stre ngth p-mer-base plastics (paprre,.) have
been develore-1 with strength properties adequate for all kinds of furni-
ture manufacture. This :i.. trial can be l"r..i"- ted. and molded to appreciable
single cu--vatures uni.. moderate double curvatures under pressures as low as
50 pounrms per square inch. Different colored and textured surfaces can be
readily obtained.

A cheaper paper plasticc, suitable for core material, can be made by
incoo-poreting lignin recovered. from the soda pulping process directly with
Sthe pulp in the beater, or ire ti; the paper vith the lignin solution.
The addition of some ph_-.olic resin improves the water resistance properties
but would not bo essential for all furniture uses. This laminate, like the
hy-rox7'lin, will be brorn to black in color.

'Ticr extreme curvatures are required, resin-bearing reforms of
paper pulp can be first formed to approximate shape and then molded to the
plastic state in metal dies or with baL-molding p-rocedures. The product,
like the paper-base plastic, is stror.n, tou,-h anc. durable. One-piece
drawers with rounded cor.iern might, for example, be produced by this method.


Inprog, compreg, several forms of hydroxirlin, various paper-base
-plastics inclu-1 i.-L jTjji'r- ani. u-.:lp _r.,for..is are now manufz ctured commer-
cially. The hy,-droxylin alone is available for coinmnercial use at the
present time, diue to the critical resins used in the other products.
Stp:mar: and. "'ralloy are not m:,'.ufactured as yet, but several companies
are coasidorin. commercial production. The furniture manufacturer will
thus not be able to ta-ke full advanta-e of those materials until after
the wtar.

Report ITo. ?.14.2


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