Transparent wood composites (TWCs) are a new class of light-transmitting wood-based materials composed of a delignified wood template that is infiltrated with a refractive- index-matched polymer resin. Recent research has focused primarily on the fabrication and characterization of single-ply TWCs. However, multi-ply composite laminates are of interest due to the mechanical advantages they impart compared to the single ply. In this work, 1- and 2-ply [0 ◦ /90 ◦ ] TWC laminates were fabricated using a delignified wood template (C) and an acetylated delignified wood template (AC). The optical and mechanical properties of resultant C and AC TWC laminates were determined using ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV-Vis) and tensile testing (5 × replicates), respectively. In addition, the ability of classical lamination plate theory and simple rule of mixtures to predict multi-ply tensile modulus and strength, respectively, from ply-level mechanical properties were investigated and are reported herein. Experimental results highlight tradeoffs that exist between the mechanical and optical responses of both unmodified and chemically modified TWCs. Template acetylation reduced the stiffness and strength in the 0 ◦ fiber direction by 2.4 GPa and 58.9 MPa, respectively, compared to the unmodified samples. At high wavelengths of light (>515 nm), AC samples exhibited higher transmittance than the C samples. Above 687 nm, the 2-ply AC sample exhibited a higher transmittance than the 1-ply C sample, indicating that thickness-dependent optical constraints can be overcome with improved interfacial interactions. Finally, both predictive models were successful in predicting the elastic modulus and tensile strength response for the 2-ply C and AC samples.
Foster, Kyle E. O.; Hess, Kristen; Miyake, Garret M. PhD; and Srubar, Wil V. PhD, "Optical Properties and Mechanical Modeling of Acetylated Transparent Wood Composite Laminates" (2019). University Libraries Open Access Fund Supported Publications. 103.