Properties of flat-pressed wood plastic composites as a function of particle size and mixing ratio
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This paper presents the effects of particle size and mixing ratio on the properties including physical, mechanical, and decay resistance of wood plastic composites (WPCs). In addition, it also presents the effects of immersion temperatures on water absorption (WA) and thickness swelling (TS) of the WPCs. WPCs with a thickness of 6 mm were fabricated from Albizia richardiana King & Prain wood particles and recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) by the flat-press method. To prepare the WPCs, two different wood particle sizes (0.5–1.0 and 1.01–2.0 mm) were used along with four different mixing ratios (w/w). Subsequently, the physical properties include density, moisture content, WA, and TS, and mechanical properties include modulus of elasticity (MOE) and modulus of rupture (MOR) of the produced WPCs was evaluated. Furthermore, decay resistance was evaluated by the weight loss percentage method. Moreover, the effects of immersion temperatures on WA and TS of WPCs after 24 h of immersion in water at three different temperatures, i.e., 25, 50, and 75 °C were investigated. Results showed that the wood particle size had impact on WPC’s density (only 6% decreased with the increase of particle size); however, the density decreased by 29% when the wood particle content increased from 40 to 70%. The WA and TS gradually increased with the increase of particle content and decrease of particle size. In addition, WA and TS increased proportionately with increasing immersion temperature from 25 to 75 °C. Furthermore, the highest MOE (2570 N/mm2) was found for the WPCs fabricated from large wood particles having the ration of 50:50 (wood particle:PET). For decay resistance, WPCs consisted of larger particles and higher PET content showed greater resistance against decay. Therefore, it is comprehensible that fabrication of the WPCs from 50% large particles and 50% PET is technically feasible and further improvement of WPC performance like enhancement of MOE and reduction of density using coupling agent and agricultural waste fibers, respectively, in the WPC formulation is recommended.
KeywordsAlbizia richardiana PET Hot pressing Physical and mechanical properties Decay resistance
The authors would like to thank Akij Particle Board Mills Ltd. Manikganj, Bangladesh for providing the support to evaluate the mechanical properties of the WPCs.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have declared that they have no conflict of interest.
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