THE EFFECTS OF POPLAR BARK AND WOOD CONTENT ON THE MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF WOOD-POLYPROPYLENE COMPOSITES

Vahidreza Safdari, Hamed Khodadadi, Seyyed Khalil Hosseinihashemi, Esmaiel Ganjian

Abstract


Bark, as a residue from trees, is mostly used for thermal energy production, but a better utilization of this resource was considered as an alternative raw material for wood-plastic composites (WPCs). The influence of bark, wood, and blending of bark and wood flour content of the poplar tree on the mechanical characteristics of WPCs were investigated. Wood and bark flours with 2% maleic anhydride-grafted polypropylene (MAPP) and polypropylene were compounded into pellets using a counter-rotating twin-screw extruder, and test specimens were prepared by injection molding. The results showed that both bark fiber and wood flour increased mechanical strength (flexural strength (MOR), flexural modulus (MOE), tensile modulus, and tensile strength) significantly (P<0.05). Composites made with bark flour exhibited lower mechanical strength compared to those made with wood flour and wood flour/bark flour. Differences in chemical composition between bark and wood, fines, low aspect ratio (length/width) of bark flour, delamination between fines and matrix, and the lower intrinsic fiber strength of bark fibers compared to wood fibers are good explanations for this demarcation. The notched impact strength of all reinforced composites was significantly lower than neat polypropylene (P < 0.05).

Keywords


Wood plastic; Bark flour (fiber); Wood flour (fiber); Mechanical strength; Poplar wood

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Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022, hubbe@ncsu.edu; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, lucian.lucia@gmail.com URLs: bioresourcesjournal.com; http://ncsu.edu/bioresources ISSN: 1930-2126