Developing and Evaluating Composites Based on Plantation Eucalyptus Rotary-cut Veneer and High-density Polyethylene Film as Novel Building Materials

Wei Song, Wenbang Wei, Congrong Ren, Shuangbao Zhang

Abstract


To achieve value-added utilizations of plantation timbers, eucalyptus veneer/high-density polyethylene film composites were prepared, with process-factors (PF) (hot-pressing temperature, HT; hot-pressing duration, HD; hot-pressing pressure, HP; HDPE-film content, HC) and composite-properties (CP) (water-resistant bonding-strength, BS; modulus of rupture, MOR; modulus of elasticity, MOE) investigated. According to thermal analyses, 140 to 180 °C was appropriate for HT. Based on statistical analyses, HD was easier to affect CP, while MOE was easier to be affected by PF. Quantitative relationships between PF and CP were determined by the neural-network (ANN) modeling. In ANN simulation surveys, CP displayed Gaussian distributions (R2 > 0.9) when PF changed in current ranges, with positive correlations between BS and MOR (R2 ≈ 0.5). Combining ANN and the genetic-algorithm, optimal processes (HT, 160 °C; HD, 50 s/mm; HP, 1.3 MPa; HC, 6 layers) were found, and optimal results (BS, 1.30 MPa; MOR, 86.94 MPa; MOE, 8.33 GPa) were comparable to various reported poplar-plywoods. Microscopic images demonstrated that composite interfaces were formed by the mechanical interlocking. The optimal BS attained Chinese standards for water-resistant plywoods, so proposed composites can serve as water-resistant and formaldehyde-free building materials for furniture and interior design.

Keywords


Plantation eucalyptus; High-density polyethylene; Wood plastic composite; Artificial neural network; Genetic algorithm

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