In this paper, it has been attempted to apply a scanning electron microscope to an investigation of the structure of the interface between wood and polymer. Hinoki sapwood-PMMA(methyl methacrylate polymer) composites were split along a radial line and the radial surfaces fractured were coated with carbon and gold under high vacuum prior to examination. In addition, the radial surfaces were also examined using transmission electron microscope by means of direct carbon replica techinque.
It was found that the scanning electron microscope becomes a useful method of examining the existence of polymer in wood, its distribution and form. One of the most important informations obtained is that polymer was clearly observed in the intercellular space of the ray ; and it is considered that the polymer filled in the lumen of tracheid or ray parenchyma cell has generally not much adhesion to the inner surface of the cell wall, and therefore the polymer is easy to peel off from the latter by fracture ; the polymer surface coating on the cell lumen or forming meniscus is very smooth but the fractured polymer has a coarse surface ; the existence and form of polymer in the pit and so forth are shown. A direct carbon replica provides more detailed examination but its preparation was very difficult.