Banner for LabNotes
From Lab Notes
Contact Information
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


You are here: FPL Home  / Information Products & Services  / Publications

Requested Product

Title: Surface chemistry changes of weathered HDPE/wood-flour composites studied by XPS and FTIR spectroscopy

Source: Polymer degradation and stability. Vol. 86 (2004): Pages 1-9

Author(s)Stark, Nicole M.; Matuana, Laurent M.

Publication Year: 2004  View PDF »

Category: Journal Articles

Abstract: The use of wood-derived fillers by the thermoplastic industry has been growing, fueled in part by the use of wood-fiber-thermoplastic composites by the construction industry. As a result, the durability of wood-fiber- thermoplastic composites after ultraviolet exposure has become a concern. Samples of 100% high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and HDPE filled with 50% wood-flour (WF) were weathered in a xenon arc-type accelerated weathering apparatus for 2000 h. Changes in surface chemistry were studied using spectroscopic techniques. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) was used to verify the occurrence of surface oxidation. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was used to monitor the development of degradation products, such as carbonyl groups and vinyl groups, and to determine changes in HDPE crystallinity. The results indicate that surface oxidation occurred immediately after exposure for both the neat HDPE and WF/HDPE composites; the surface of the WF/HDPE composites was oxidized to a greater extent than that of the neat HDPE. This suggests that the addition of WF to the HDPE matrix results in more weather-related damage. The results also show that while neat HDPE may undergo crosslinking in the initial stages of accelerated weathering, WF may physically hinder the ability of HDPE to crosslink, resulting in the potential for HDPE chain scission to dominate in the initial weathering stage.

Keywords: Polyethylene (PE), ultraviolet, weathering, photodegradation, composites, wood-flour, FTIR, XPS

File size: 216 kb(s)

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 16474
Current FPL Scientist associated with this product
Stark, Nicole M.
Research Chemical Engineer

Additional items that might interest you
View the video celebrating FPL's 100 years of public service in 2010, from the producers of the Greatest Good....view

Research Highlights from FPL....view

Termite Eradication: A search for the Holy Grail.... view

Moisture Management in Residential Construction Series videos...view

Wood Floor Systems in Residential Construction Series videos....view
- FPL's Mission and Strategic Plan -

FPL's mission is to identify and conduct innovative wood and fiber utilization research that contributes to conservation and productivity of the forest resource, thereby sustaining forests, the economy, and quality of life. ... ..more »

- FPL Research Emphasis Areas -
Advanced Composites

As an integral part of the FPL mission, we improve the long-term sustainability of our Nation's forests by creating valuable composite products from biobased materials ... ..more »

Advanced Structures

The FPL has been in the forefront of wood-frame housing research since 1910 and has long been recognized as a world leader in such housing-related areas as engineered wood ... ..more »

Forest Biorefinery

We all know the compelling reasons that the United States needs to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Historically, the greatest increases in energy demand have been for transportation fuels ... ..more »


A leader in wood products research for over a century, the FPL is positioning itself to become the lead Federal research facility for the application of nanotechnology in forest products ... more »

Woody Biomass Utilization

Forests in the United States contain a substantial amount of small-diameter, overstocked, and underutilized material.FPL research projects are exploring the potential of the small-diameter ... ..more »