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Introduction to Special Issue Wood Adhesives: Past, Present, and Future By Charles R. Frihart
Adhesives have played and will continue to play an important role in the efficient utilization of wood resources. Early Egyptians used adhesives to attach rare veneers to wood furniture. Today, adhesives play a vital role in allowing almost all types and sizes of wood to be converted to functional products. For centuries, wood was bonded using biobased adhesives. In the 20th century, synthetic adhesives gradually took over because they were typically more effective and cost less. Refinement of these adhesives led to a great expansion in the bonded wood products industry by growing existing markets and allowing devel- opment of new bonded products. The 20th century also saw an increased understanding of wood adhesive chemistry and product performance knowledge. These trends continue in the 21st century along with the potential for more biobased adhesives. The increased use of engineered wood products will continue along with more utilization of other wood and plant resources, such as bamboo, for the production of bonded products.