Substrate effects on VOC emissions from an interior finishing varnish

Ngai Hong Kwok, Shun Cheng Lee, Hai Guo, Wing Tat Hung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of four substrates-an aluminium board, a plasterboard, a gypsum board and a plywood board-on volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from an interior finishing varnish were investigated using a dynamic environmental chamber. Four major VOCs, including toluene, ethylbenzene, m,p-xylene and o-xylene, were identified in the varnish emissions. The average amount of VOCs emitted from the painted aluminium substrate was approximately 65% more than that from the painted plywood substrate during the 10 h test period. The results indicated that most VOC emissions from the painted aluminium substrate occurred in the early stage through an evaporation-like processes. However, the majority of the VOC from the plywood substrate was emitted in a later stage through a diffusion-like process. The present work confirmed that the type of substrates had a marked influence on the VOC emissions resulting from varnish.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1019-1026
Number of pages8
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • Building materials
  • Environmental chamber
  • Modeling
  • Substrate
  • Varnish
  • Volatile Organic compound (VOC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

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