The objective of this study was to use soybean meal and 1,4-butanediol diglycidyl ether (BDDE) to develop a highly water-resistant, soy-based bioadhesive for plywood fabrication. The physical properties and performance characteristics of the resulting adhesive, including solid content,
viscosity, water resistance, crystallinity, fracture morphology, thermal behavior, and cracks, were evaluated. The proposed adhesive was compared against the traditional soy adhesive with polyamidoamine-epichlorohydrin (PAE). Results showed that adding 8 g of BDDE into the adhesive formulation
improved the solid content up to 32.83% and reduced the viscosity to 27340 mPa·s. The wet shear strength of plywood bonded with the adhesive was improved by 417% to 1.19 MPa, which was 17.8% higher than that of the PAE adhesive. BDDE effectively reacts with soy protein to form a dense
network, thus enhancing the water resistance of the adhesive by creating a smooth and compact fracture surface that prevents moisture intrusion. The adhesive with BDDE was also found to be tougher after curing than the adhesive with PAE, which reduced the interior force of the adhesive layer
and further enhanced its water resistance.
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