Special Issue "Advanced Wood Composites from Renewable Materials"

Submission Deadline: 01 March 2022
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Guest Editors
Antonios N. Papadopoulos, Professor, International Hellenic University, Greek.
Antonios N. Papadopoulos is a specialist in Wood Science, Chemistry and Technology. He is Professor and Head of the Department of Forestry and Natural Environment at the International Hellenic University. He is an M.Sc and Ph.D holder, both from University of North Wales, Bangor. His M.Sc thesis focused on wood composites and his Ph.D thesis on chemical and thermal modification of wood. His main areas of research interests include: chemical and thermal modification of wood, nanotechnology and wood science, composites, wood based panels and adhesives. He has published more than 200 peer reviewed papers, books, and book chapters. He is on various Editorial Boards of journals in the field of wood science and technology.

Summary

Wood, a versatile material, has been used for centuries for many reasons due to its fibrous nature. It varies in color and density and is considered a primary raw material in buildings due to its high strength in combination with its low weight and some durability. It is, therefore, a raw material that can be used in indoor applications and, if treated efficiently, in outdoor application as well. However, two properties restrict its much wider use: dimensional changes when subjected to fluctuating humidity and susceptibility to biodegradation by microorganisms. These drawbacks are mainly due to the cell wall main polymers and, in particular, due to their high abundance of hydroxyl groups. Wood may be modified chemically or thermally, so that selected properties are enhanced in a more or less permanent fashion. Another option to improve the hygroscopicity and the biological durability of both solid wood and wood-based panels is to exploit the solutions that nanotechnology can offer. Employing nanotechnology on wood can result in a next generation of products having hyper-performance and superior service ability when used in severe environments, since it is well known that the cell wall of wood exhibits porosity of molecular scale dimensions due to the partial filling of space between the cellulose microfibrils by lignin, hemicelluloses and extractives. The small size nanoparticles of such nanotechnology compounds can deeply penetrate into the wood, effectively alter its surface chemistry, and result in a high protection against moisture and decay. In addition, the use of lignocellulosic materials for the production of advanced wood composites is an innovative avenue for research. Their growing relevance in the modern industry and science results from the main global trends in industrial development, but also from environmental thinking and nature protection activities, including energy-saving solutions and clean technologies. It must be clearly pointed out that one cannot speak about wood composites without speaking in depth of the polymer binders and adhesives used to hold them together. The history of wood composites themselves is inextricably intertwined with the history and the development of the polymer binders that hold them together and their manufacture. In fact, not only has there been continuous development of new or improved binders that has allowed the development of wood composites but it is the continual renewal, new discovery, and upgrading of such binders that has allowed and allows progress in wood composites. Progress in this fascinating field of primary economic importance has been accelerating, and the number of new ideas, approaches, and new proposed binder systems is continuously increasing, providing a glimpse of an exciting and interesting research future.

 

This Special Issue, Advanced wood composites from renewable materials, seeks high-quality works and topics (not only those) focusing on the latest approaches to the protection of wood and wood composites with chemical or thermal modification technologies, the application of nanomaterials to wood science and the development of new techniques and technologies for production of lignocellulosic materials with enhanced properties and performance. Topics of interest also include mechanical and structural properties of composites as well as their constituent materials; experimental and theoretical studies relating to composites; manipulation of properties through manufacturing and processing; modeling and simulations; microscopic to macroscopic behavior; and performance verification techniques.

 

I deeply believe the collection will become an origin of new ideas for the protection, design, research, and use of sustainable and renewable materials in the fascinating area of wood composites. Laboratories worldwide do innovative research and new challenges, approaches and ideas are continuously increasing letting mirror an exciting and interesting research future.


Keywords
Wood composites, wood, chemical and thermal modification, nanotechnology, lignocellulosic materials, adhesives, sustainable and renewable materials.