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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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Wood-Plastic Composites Improved with Glass

Hollow glass microspheres in wood-plastic composites.  Rebecca Wallace, Forest Service
Hollow glass microspheres in wood-plastic composites. Rebecca Wallace, Forest Service
Snapshot: Adding microsized glass particles to wood-plastic composites creates a less dense but stiffer material for use in a variety of building applications

Wood-plastic composites are widely used, particularly in building applications. Two drawbacks of these composites, however, are their high density and low stiffness. In cooperation with 3M, Forest Products Laboratory researchers are adding hollow glass microspheres to wood-plastic composites, making them stiffer, lighter, and more easily fastened.

Wood-plastic composites combine wood flour, plastics, and small amounts of other materials to produce a composite with a favorable balance of properties. These composites are a major outlet for recycled film and are often used in exterior building applications including roofing, fencing, siding, window and door profiles, railings, and especially in decking. These materials are also more easily fastened using standard fasteners such as nails and screws.

Optimization of processing parameters was important to prevent the hollow glass microspheres from breaking under the high pressures used in producing these next-generation composite materials.
Princpal Investigator(s):
 Clemons, Craig M.

Research Location:
  • FPL

External Partners:
  • Baris Yalcin, Steve E. Amos, Andrew S. DSouza, Troy K. Ista, and I. Sedat Gunes, 3M, St. Paul, MN

Fiscal Year: 2012
Highlight ID: 12
Related Research Emphasis Areas: