Biodegradation Properties of Wood-plastic Composites Containing High Content of Lignocellulosic Filler and Zinc Borate Exposed to Two Different Brown-Rot Fungi

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

Abstract


The decay resistance of zinc borate-reinforced wood-plastic composites (WPCs) was studied against two types of brown-rot fungi (Rhodonia placenta and Coniophora puteana). The WPCs with 70% wood fibers (Pinus sylvestris L.) were reinforced with 1% and 2% zinc borate. The reinforced WPCs were exposed to a decay test according to the EN 113 (1996) standard. The composite samples were characterized by their weight losses and water absorption capacity (WAC) as well as by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and differential thermal analysis (DTA). The weight losses and WAC results showed that zinc borate improved the decay resistance of the WPCs to a certain degree against brown rot fungi. The FTIR and SEM results showed that the brown rot fungi attacked the WPCs. It was concluded that the use of 1-2% zinc borate provided resistance to fungal attack on WPCs to a certain degree.

Keywords


Wood-plastic composite; Zinc borate; High content filler; Fungal decay; Resistance

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