Journal article Open Access
Pleating is an optimal way to increase bendability of wood used in diverse industrial applications. It results in the excessive buckling of cell walls and modifications of constitutive polymers. However, thoughtful understanding of the physical–chemical mechanisms of that modification process is very limited. The main purpose of the present study was to identify changes in functional groups of wood polymers induced by longitudinal compression. Four types of wood samples prepared from beech and sessile oak (untreated, steamed, longitudinally compressed and fixated for 1 min as well as longitudinally compressed and fixated for 18 h) were assessed by infrared spectroscopy. The spectra interpretation revealed that changes can be observed in hydroxyl as well as in carbon–oxygen single and carbon-hydrogen functional groups of polysaccharides and lignin. Beech wood seems to be more susceptible to investigated modification processes as compared to oak. Detailed interpretation of infrared spectra allows identification of changes in the hygroscopicity of wood as well as alterations in the linkage between structural elements in the polymer matrix of wood induced by the applied treatments.