Evaluation of block shear properties of selected extreme-pH structural adhesives by short-term exposure test



Nine structural adhesives with varying pH were selected to examine the effect of adhesive pH on wood–adhesive bond quality. The adhesives evaluated included four highly alkaline phenol–formaldehyde, one intermediate pH phenol–resorcinol–formaldehyde, two acidic melamine–urea–formaldehyde, and two acidic melamine–formaldehyde resins. Block shear specimens were prepared using Douglas-fir and black spruce wood. The adhesive performance was evaluated by measuring the shear properties (strength and wood failure) of the specimens tested at the dry and vacuum–pressure–redry (VPD) conditions. Adhesive pH, test condition, and wood species showed significant effects on shear properties. The different adhesives performed differently at the dry and VPD conditions. The high-pH adhesives (phenol–formaldehyde and phenol–resorcinol–formaldehyde) showed similar high wood failures at both test conditions and performed better than the low-pH adhesives (melamine–formaldehyde and melamine–urea–formaldehyde), especially after the VPD conditioning. The low-pH adhesives showed high wood failure at the dry condition, but wood failure decreased significantly after VPD conditioning for both species, indicating that the low-pH adhesives were less durable than the high-pH adhesives. High-pH adhesives did not have a negative impact on the strength of the bonded specimens. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011