We test the hypothesis that plasma-treatment will remove oil from the surface of hot-oil modified blue-stained pine wood, and improve the adhesion and outdoor performance of a white acrylic coating on the modified wood. Modified wood was treated with water-vapour plasma, and microstructural changes at wood surfaces were examined. Plasma treatment removed oil from the surface of modified wood and etched bordered pits. The contact angle of water droplets on modified wood was 91.8°, but plasma-treatment for only 33 s reduced contact angle to less than that of the unmodified control (48.6°). The adhesion of the acrylic paint to modified wood was unaffected by plasma-treatment, but the adhesion rating of coated samples tested wet was slightly lower (3.1) than that of the coating on samples tested dry (3.5). The lightness value (CIE-L) of the acrylic coating on hot-oil modified wood samples exposed outdoors for 18 months was significantly lower (darker, 65.5) than that of the coating on similarly modified and exposed samples pre-treated with plasma (75.8). We conclude that plasma-treatment shows promise as a way of removing oil from the surface of hot-oil modified wood and reducing the discolouration of an acrylic coating on modified wood exposed to natural weathering.
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