Combined Effect of Zinc Borate and Coupling Agent against Brown and White Rot Fungi in Wood-Plastic Composites

Ertugrul Altuntas, Esra Yilmaz, Tufan Salan, Mehmet Hakkı Alma


Fungal resistance was investigated for wood-plastic composites (WPCs) containing zinc borate, maleic anhydride grafted polyethylene (MAPE) as a coupling agent, wood fiber (Pinus sylvestris), and high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Decay resistance, water absorption, and surface hardness (Shore D) of the WPCs were tested. The reinforced wood-plastic composites were exposed to brown-rot fungus (Coniophora puteana, Postia placenta) and white-rot fungus (Trametes versicolor) in agar tests. The results showed that zinc borate improved the decay resistance of the WPCs against brown and white rot fungus according to their weight losses. Moreover, the water absorption and surface hardness tests indicated that the physical properties of the composites were weakened after fungal decay tests. The usage of MAPE and zinc borate alone or together was effective against both rot fungus species in WPCs. The synergy of 1% zinc borate and 3% MAPE in WPCs could considerably increase the fungal attack resistance. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed that both brown and white rot fungus attacked the surface of WPCs samples without both MAPE and zinc borate.


Composite; Decay resistance; Rot fungus; Zinc borate; Coupling agent; Combined effect

Full Text: PDF

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,; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, URLs:; ISSN: 1930-2126