Manfred Dunky studied Polymer Engineering and Science at the University in Leoben, Austria, and got his PhD 1980 on “Chemical-physical characterization of UF resins for the particleboard industry”. His nearly 40 years career he spent mainly in the chemical and wood based panels industry (Krems Chemie/Neste/Dynea as well as in the Kronospan group), now recently retiring. His preferred working topic were development and application of formaldehyde based wood adhesives and production technology in the wood based panels industry, also travelling extensively to solve mill issues throughout whole Europe.

Beside of this industry career he has taught since 1996 extensively as well as supervised students at several universities and got 2000 his habilitation (post-doctoral lecturing qualification) for “Wood Science with special consideration of wood based panels” at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria. He was authoring scientific original works, review articles, and one basic text book and also gave many presentations at conferences, such as at several Wood Adhesives Conferences. During the last 25 years he also put emphasis on adhesives based on natural resources.

Abstract – Challenges of Naturally based Wood Adhesives from an Industrial Perspective

This presentation summarizes the actual status of use of adhesives based on natural resources from an industrial and, at the same time, critical standpoint; the existing deficiencies and shortcomings of the scientific development of naturally based adhesives will be addressed, as well as the missing communication and understanding between scientific world and industry. But the intention is also to see this as wake up call for both sides in order to join the forces and to clearly define what will be possible to achieve in which time frame and at which costs. The main motivation to use naturally based adhesives is given by the sensitivity of public opinion to the environment and its protection, the expectation of cost increases in the petrochemical industry, stricter existing or expected legal regulations, concerns about human health, and interest in resource recycling and sustainability. For some years now, natural adhesives have again been strongly in the focus of research; however, the actual requirements of wood-based material technology, particularly with regard to economically efficient production, cannot yet be met by using adhesives based on natural resources; the main disadvantages are the low degree of crosslinking, in most cases the low reactivity when hardening and forming a crosslinked adhesive joint, and the often poor resistance against moisture and water. Additionally, natural adhesives are challenged to reproduce the behavior and performance of synthetic resins. So far it is not clear if naturally based adhesives will at their best be established as niche products, or if they will be the preferred bonding material in future.