The Effects of Processing Parameters and AC Foaming Agent on the Mechanical Properties and Morphology of Foamed Wood-Polylactic Acid (PLA) Composites

Zhenghao Ge, Zhi Qi, Dange Si, Min Yu

Abstract


Wood flour, PLA, and other additives were mixed evenly in a high speed mixing machine. The granules were prepared by melt blending and extrusion granulating with a twin-screw extruder, and test specimens were molded by a plate curing machine. By changing the heating temperature, the molding pressure, the holding pressure time, and azodicarbonamide (AC foaming agent) contents, the influences of four factors on the apparent density, the mechanical properties, and the morphology of the biodegradable foamed WPCs were investigated. The best processing parameters and the optimum AC foaming agent content were obtained. When heating temperature was 178 °C, heating time was 10 min, holding pressure time was 25 s, and molding pressure was 7 MPa, the test specimen was lighter in color, with a smooth surface and dense, uniform cross section. The mechanical properties (flexural strength and impact strength) of the foamed WPCs were relatively good. When adding 1% AC foaming agent, the foamed WPCs showed uniformly distributed microcellular structure, and the average pore diameter was about 67 µm. The density was reduced by 18.6%, and the flexural strength and impact strength were increased by 128.6% and 40%, respectively, compared with non-foamed WPCs.

Keywords


Biodegradable; Processing parameters; Foaming agent; Mechanical properties; Morphology

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