Feasibility Assessment of a Wood-Plastic Composite Post-Production Process: Formability

Amir Esmael Toghyani, Sami Matthews, Harri Eskelinen, Timo Kärki, Juha Varis

Abstract


Wood-plastic composites (WPCs) – one of a number of promising classes of materials in the manufacturing industries – are experiencing rapid market growth. However, the favorable characteristics of this material and the development of new production processes and post-production processes suggest even greater potential for utilization of WPCs. This paper evaluates the formability of an extruded WPC material comprising nearly 45% wood fiber, 50% thermoplastic, and 5% of other additives in a novel extrusion-based post-production process. The press-forming process described in this work is used to form and cut the pre-determined profile shape to obtain the final product. After preliminary tests to determine the suitable temperature range, dimensions, and roughness range for a post-extrusion hot-pressing process of a sample WPC product, a diverse set of product quality tests were then conducted on pre-heated sheets of WPC material using forming tools attached to a hydraulic press. The forming process had high accuracy with respect to dimensional precision and acceptable repeatability. The forming process also reduced the surface roughness of the material. The test results clearly demonstrated the dependence of final product quality on the quality of the original extruded WPC profiles used, e.g., with respect to the thickness variation of the material.

Keywords


WPC forming; Post-extrusion processing; Surface roughness; Thickness variation

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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