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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 Flour Extraction Improves Moisture Performance of Wood-Plastic Composites

This research will improve the durability of wood-plastic composite deckboards such as the one shown here being evaluated for color. Nicole Stark, USDA Forest Service
This research will improve the durability of wood-plastic composite deckboards such as the one shown here being evaluated for color. Nicole Stark, USDA Forest Service
Snapshot: Improving the moisture performance of wood-plastic composites provides a potential avenue toward improving the product's overall durability. Forest Service scientists evaluated methods for pre-treating the wood flour before incorporation into the plastic matrix as a strategy to improve composite performance. Extractions and delignification were performed on the wood flour, and it was demonstrated that solvent extraction of the wood flour has the potential to significantly improve composite performance.
Summary:

Improving the moisture performance of wood-plastic composites provides a potential avenue toward improving the product's overall durability. Forest Service scientists investigated the water sorption and mechanical properties of wood-plastic composites (WPCs) made of extracted and delignified wood flour (WF). WPCs were prepared with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and treated WF was prepared by means of extrusion followed by injection molding, and the water absorption characteristics and mechanical properties of the products were evaluated. WPCs produced with extracted WF had lower water absorption rates and better mechanical properties than those made of untreated WF. WPCs containing delignified WF had higher water absorption rates and improved mechanical performance compared with those made of untreated WF.
Princpal Investigator(s):
 Stark, Nicole M.


Research Location:
  • Forest Products Laboratory


External Partners:
  • Beijing Forestry University

Fiscal Year: 2014
Highlight ID: 584
 
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