Wheat gluten fractions as wood adhesives—glutenins versus gliadins



Plant proteins, such as wheat gluten, constitute attractive raw materials for sustainable wood adhesives. In this study, alkaline water dispersions of the protein classes of wheat gluten, glutenin, and gliadin were used as adhesives to bond together wood substrates of beech. The aim of the study is to measure the tensile shear strength of the wood substrates to compare the adhesive performance of glutenin and gliadin and to investigate the influence of application method and penetration of the dispersions into the wood material. A sodium hydroxide solution (0.1M) was used as dispersing and denaturing agent. Dispersions with different protein concentrations and viscosities were used, employing wheat gluten dispersions as references. Two different application methods, a press temperature of 110°C and a press time of 15 min, were employed. The tensile shear strength and water resistance of the wood substrates were compared, using a slightly modified version of the European Standard EN 204. The bond lines of the substrates were examined by optical microscopy to study the penetration and bond-line thickness. The results reveal that the adhesive properties of gliadin are inferior to that of both glutenin and wheat gluten, especially in terms of water resistance. However, the tensile shear strength and the water resistance of gliadin are significantly improved when over-penetration of the protein into the wood material is avoided, rendering the adhesive performance of gliadin equal to that of glutenin and wheat gluten. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2012