Polyvinyl acetate emulsion adhesive has been widely used due to its good bonding performance and environmentally friendly properties. Indeed, the bonding performance can be further improved by copolymerizing with other monomers. In this study, the effect of the adjunction of redox initiator (hydrogen peroxide–tartaric acid, H2O2–TA) on the properties of the poly (vinyl acetate-butyl acrylate) (P (VAc–BA)) emulsion adhesive was investigated. With increasing dosage, the reaction became more complete and the obtained film was more compact, as identified via SEM. The core-shell structure of the emulsion particles was confirmed via TEM. Results indicate that while the initiator content increased from 0.5 to 1.0%, a clearer core-shell structure was obtained and the bonding strength of the plywood improved from 2.34 to 2.97 MPa. With the further incorporation of H2O2–TA (i.e., 1.5%), the bonding performance deteriorated. The optimum wood bonding strength (2.97 MPa) of the prepared P (VAc-BA) emulsion adhesive was even better than that (2.55 MPa) of a commercial PVAc emulsion adhesive, suggesting its potential application for the wood industry.
Materials 2018, 11(1), 89