Soybean meal flour, polyethylene glycol (PEG), sodium hydroxide (NaOH), and a melamine-urea-formaldehyde (MUF) resin were used to formulate soybean meal/MUF resin adhesive. Effects of the adhesive components on the water resistance and formaldehyde emission were measured on three-ply plywood. The viscosity and solid content of the different adhesive formulations were measured. The functional groups of the cured adhesives were evaluated. The results showed that the wet shear strength of plywood bonded by soybean meal/NaOH adhesive increased by 33% to 0.61 MPa after adding NaOH into the adhesive formulation. Addition of PEG reduced the viscosity of the soybean meal/NaOH/PEG adhesive by 91% to 34,489 cP. By using the MUF resin, the solid content of the soybean meal/MUF resin adhesive was improved to 39.2%, the viscosity of the adhesive was further reduced by 37% to 21,727 cP, and the wet shear strength of plywood bonded by the adhesive was increased to 0.95 MPa, which met the interior plywood requirements (≥0.7 MPa). The formaldehyde emission of plywood bonded by the soybean meal/MUF resin adhesive was obtained at 0.28 mg/L, which met the strictest requirement of the China National Standard (≤0.5 mg/L). FTIR showed using the MUF resin formed more CH2 group in the cured adhesive. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2012
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