The influence of accelerated weathering on the mechanical and physical properties of wood-plastic composites; pp. 94–104Full article in PDF format | doi: 10.3176/proc.2015.1S.05
This research concentrates on the effect of moisture absorption and UV radiation on the mechanical and physical properties of wood-plastic composites (WPC). The goal is also to evaluate the importance of wood flour fraction size on the mechanical properties of WPC and their influence on the accelerated weathering results. Wood flour reinforced composites with three different fractions of wood flour made from birch (Betula) chips were prepared. Additionally, Bleached-Chemi-Thermo-Mechanical aspen (Populus tremula) pulp (Aspen BCTMP) was used. Thermoplastics (LLDPE-g-MAH, PP) were used to prepare composites. Wood flour and BCTMP surface were treated with two different coupling agents: 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) and polyvinyalcohol (PVA). The WPC specimens were prepared by injection molding. Accelerated weathering tests were carried out to evaluate the influence of weathering on the mechanical and physical properties of composites. Three-point bending test and Charpy impact test were used to test mechanical properties. The test results showed that using wood flour as a filler material in composites made the WPC material more rigid and brittle. Due to the water absorption and swelling of WPC, the flexural modulus (MOE) and strength decreased and impact strength increased by making the material weaker with increasing the deflection of the WPC. The UV radiation decreased the composites flexural strength and MOE, while impact strength was increased. After the accelerated weathering cycles, cracks and voids were found on the surface of the WPC materials. After the UV radiation treatment, also the WPC colour was lightened.
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