Innovative, Low-Cost Eco-Composite Boards Produced from High-Energy Milled Wood, Plastic Waste, and Bio-Polymer
Keywords:Wood, Polymer, Composite, Physical and mechanical properties, High-energy milling, Wood-rotting fungi, Electron microscopy
Currently, there is a big issue with waste, its processing and subsequent use. While there are many initiatives to replace materials that are poorly biodegradable, it is necessary to process and ideally use the waste that is already produced. In this study, the properties of composite boards made of waste materials and biodegradable polymer were investigated. The composite boards were made from wood and plastic waste using high-energy milling technology. This technology for material preparation is promising, as it includes controlling the morphology of particles, homogenizing the mixture, and drying the material during the milling process. The results showed higher flexural strength of high-density fiberboard (HDF) boards compared with tested composites with one exception. Wood/poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) [PHBV] composite exhibited 30% higher modulus of elasticity (MOE) than HDF due to the higher modulus of PHBV. The lowest thickness swelling (3%) and water absorption (12%) were measured for wood/recycled high density polythene (rHDPE) composite. The HDF boards recorded the lowest dimensional stability. The highest water absorption of tested composites was measured for wood/PHBV composite. The resistance to wood-rotting fungi was greatest for wood/PHBV composite containing marble powder, which corresponded to the results of scanning electron microscopy.