• phenol–furfural resin;
  • sisal;
  • composites;
  • MALDI;
  • NMR


Resol type resins were prepared in alkaline conditions (potassium hydroxide or potassium carbonate) using furfural obtained by acid hydrolysis of abundant renewable resources from agricultural and forestry waste residues. The structures of the resins were fully determined by 1H, 13C, and 2D NMR spectrometries with the help of four models compounds synthesized specially for this study. MALDI-Tof mass spectrometry experiments indicated that a majority of linear oligomers and a minority of cyclic ones constituted them. Composites were prepared with furfural–phenol resins and sisal fibers. These fibers were chosen mainly because they came from natural lignocellulosic material and they presented excellent mechanical properties. Thermal analyses (dTG and DSC) and electron microscopy images indicated that the composites displayed excellent adhesion between resin and fibers. Impact strength measurement showed that mild conditions were more suitable to prepare thermosets. Nevertheless, mild conditions induced a high-diffusion coefficient for water absorption by composites. Composites with good properties could be prepared using high proportion of materials obtained from biomass without formaldehyde. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2008