State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China; School of Food Science and Technology, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China; Collaborative Innovation Center of Food Safety and Quality Control in Jiangsu Province, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, Jiangsu 214122, China. Electronic address: [Email]
A new biodegradable, renewable, and environmentally friendly starch-based adhesive for wood-based panels was synthesized. The synthesis was conducted by grafting polymerization of vinyl acetate (VAC) monomer onto corn starch and crosslinking polymerization with N-methylol acrylamide (NMA). Compared with the traditional starch-based wood adhesive, the water resistance of starch-based adhesive with NMA (SWA-N) was greatly improved to more than 1 MPa; this exceeds the Chinese standard by 40%. The results from various analyses, including particle size, contact angle, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR), confocal Raman microscopy (CRM) and 13C-CPMAS, indicated that such improved performance is due to increased crosslinking density and formation of complex network structure. Such complex network structure was found to inhibit excessive expansion of the adhesive during high temperature pressing and water absorption. As a result, the internal structure of the adhesive remained intact when subjected to hot pressing and placed in wet conditions.