Functionality of Surface Mycelium Interfaces in Wood Bonding
Publication Name: ASC Applied Materials & Interfaces
Publication URL: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsami.0c18165
Filamentous fungi have been considered as candidates to replace petroleum-based adhesives and plastics in novel composite material production, particularly those containing lignocellulosic materials. However, the nature of the role of surface mycelium in the adhesion between lignocellulosic composite components is not well-known. The current study investigated the functionality of surface mycelium for wood bonding by incubating Trametes versicolor on yellow birch veneers and compared the lap-shear strengths after hot-pressing to evaluate if the presence of surface mycelium can improve the interface between two wood layers and consequently improve bonding. We found that the lap-shear strength of the samples was enhanced by the increase of surface mycelium coverage up to 8 days of incubation (up to 1.74 MPa) without a significant wood weight loss. We provide evidence that the bottom surface of the mycelium layer is more hydrophilic, contains more small-scale filamentous structure and contains more functional groups, resulting in better bonding with wood than the top surface. These observations confirm and highlight the functionality of the surface mycelium layer for wood bonding and provide useful information for future developments in fully biobased composites manufacturing.