Effect of fiber origin, proportion, and chemical composition on the mechanical and physical properties of wood-plastic composites.
Sébastien Migneault, Ahmed Koubaa, Patrick Perré.
This study assessed the potential of wood residues as fiber sources for wood-plastic composites (WPC) and examined the impact for intrinsic fiber properties on strength development. Sawmill sawdust, underused wood species, bark, composite panel, and pulp and paper sludge residues were sampled. Fibers were characterized for cellulose content, ash content, and fiber aspect ratio. WPC samples were formed by twin-screw extrusion compounding, followed by injection molding at three fiber proportions. WPC mechanical properties, water uptake, and water swelling increased with increasing fiber proportion, whereas tenacity decreased. WPC made with residues had lower mechanical and physical properties than those made with clean wood, with some exceptions. Kraft sludge produced one of the best WPC formulations in terms of thickness swell, water swelling, tensile strength, and impact energy. Deinking sludge produced the toughest and the most dimensionally stable WPC. Panel industry residues formed roughly similar WPC to those made with clean wood. Bark led to poorest WPC in terms of mechanical properties. High correlation coefficients were found between cellulose content, wood content, and all WPC properties except impact energy. However, the correlations between aspect ratio and the WPC were insignificant. © 2014 Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.