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: Wood flour

Source: Functional fillers for plastics. Weinheim : Wiley-VCH, 2005: pages [249]-270

Author(s)Clemons, Craig M.; Caufield, Daniel F.

Publication Year: 2005  View PDF »

Category: Journal Articles

Abstract: The term 'wood flour' is somewhat ambiguous. Reineke states that the term wood flour 'is applied somewhat loosely to wood reduced to finely divided particles approximating those of cereal flours in size, appearance, and texture'. Though its definition is imprecise, the term wood flour is in common use. Practically speaking, wood flour usually refers to wood particles that are small enough to pass through a screen with 850-micron openings (20 US standard mesh). Wood flour has been produced commercially since 1906 and has been used in many and varied products including soil amendments, extenders for glues, and absorbents for explosives. One of its earliest uses in plastics was in a phenol-formaldehyde and wood flour composite called Bakelite. Its first commercial product was reportedly a gearshift knob for Rolls Royce in 1916. Though once quite prevalent as a filler for thermosets, its use has diminished. In contrast to its use in thermosets, large-scale use of wood flour in thermoplastics has only occurred within the last few decades. Recent growth has been great: use of wood-plastic composites has grown from less than 50,000 tonnes in 1995 to nearly 600,000 tonnes in 2002. Most of this has been due to the rapid growth in the manufacture of exterior building products such as railings, window and door profiles, and especially decking. Due to its low thermal stability, wood flour is usually used as a filler only in plastics that are processed at temperatures lower than about 200 C. The great majority of wood-plastic composites use polyethylene as the matrix. This is due, in part, to the fact that many of the early wood-plastic composites were developed as an outlet for recycled film. Some manufacturers also use combinations of thermoplastics and thermosets as the matrix material.

Keywords: Polyethylene, wood flour, mechanical properties, thermoplastic composites, utilization, composite materials, fillers

File size: 298 kb(s)

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 16612
Current FPL Scientist associated with this product
Clemons, Craig M.
Materials Research 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 »