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Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


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Title: Effect of Weathering Variables on the Lightness of High-Density Polyethylene Woodflour Composites

Source: Eighth International Conference on Woodfiber-Plastic Composites, May 23-25, 2005 Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center Madison, Wisconsin, USA


Publication Year: 2005  View PDF »

Category: Journal Articles

Abstract: Wood-plastic lumber is promoted as a low-main-tenance, high-durability product. After weathering, however, wood-plastic composites (WPCs) often fade. In the first part of this study, 50 percent woodflour-filled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) composite samples were manufactured. Composites were ex-posed to two accelerated weathering cycles in a xe-non-arc type weathering apparatus: either ultraviolet (UV) light only or UV light and water spray. The com-posites lightened less when they were exposed to only W light compared with exposure to UV light and wa-ter spray. In the second part of this study, WPCs with changing wood contents were exposed to UV radiation with water spray. The results were compared with ex-posure to both a single water soak and a series of cycli-cal soaking-drying periods. Composites exposed to a single water soak did not lighten, those exposed to cy-clical soaking and drying lightened only at high wood contents, and all composites lightened after exposure to UV radiation with water spray. The results of this study demonstrate that exposing WPCs to water spray in combination with UV light is more severe than ex-posing WPCs to only UV light, or to only water. This is likely a result of water spray washing away the de-graded layer and wood extractives during weathering,as well as causing the wood-plastic interface to be compromised through dimensional changes in wood particles.

File size: 96 kb(s)

Date posted: 06/18/2009
Current FPL Scientist associated with this product
Stark, Nicole M.
Research Chemical Engineer

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