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
Email

 

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

Requested Product

Title: Termite resistance of wood-plastic composites made with acetylated wood flour, coupling agent or zinc borate

Source: In: Proceedings, IRG annual meeting. The International Research Group on Wood Protection. 11 p.

Author(s)Ibach, Rebecca E.; Hadi, Yusuf Sudo; Clemons, Craig M.; Sulaeman, Yusuf

Publication Year: 2018  View PDF »

Category: Conference Proceedings

Abstract: There is little published scientific literature on the laboratory or field testing of wood-plastic composites (WPC) against termite attack. Therefore, the objective of this research was to investigate termite resistance (both laboratory and field) of 5 different extruded WPC blends of 50% western pine wood flour (WF) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and untreated pine solid wood. The study included two unmodified control WPC blends (one with cut surfaces and one with plastic rich surfaces); one blend with 3% coupling agent (maleated polyethylene, MAPE); one blend with acetylated WF; and one blend with 1% ZB. These 3 modifications/treatments were chosen because (1) coupling agents are known to promote bonding between the plastic and unmodified wood fibers when added to WPCs; (2) acetylating the wood esterifies the hydroxyl groups, making the wood more hydrophobic, dimensionally stable, and biologically durable; and (3) ZB is a known fungicide and insecticide used in some commercial WPC formulations. All WPC blends tested performed well (0.1% -0.7% weight loss; 66% – 71% termite mortality) in the 10 week dry-wood laboratory termite test compared to the untreated solid wood (9.1% weight loss; 33.8% mortality.) Field exposure ratings are on a scale from 0 (complete failure) to 10 (sound, one to 2 small nibbles should be permitted.) After 30 months field exposure to Macrotermes gilvus Hagen in Bogor, Indonesia the acetylated WPCs performed the best with ratings of all 10s and only 0.8% weight loss, followed by the 1% ZB blend with ratings of all 9s and 3.9% weight loss. The coupling agent blend had ratings of all 8s and 13.6% weight loss, while the unmodified WPC controls had ratings of 7 and from 11.3-22.6% weight loss. The solid wood was completely destroyed with 100% weight loss and 0 rating.

Keywords: Termite resistance; laboratory; field; wood-plastic composite; acetylation; zinc borate; coupling agent

Publication Review Process: Informally Refereed (Peer-Reviewed)

File size: 533 kb(s)

Date posted: 07/26/2018

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 90730
Current FPL Scientists associated with this product (listed alphabetically)
Clemons, Craig M.
Materials Research Engineer
Ibach, Rebecca E.
Research Chemist
 

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 »


Nanotechnology

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 »