Multi-component Polymer Systems Comprising Wood as Bio-based Component and Thermoplastic Polymer Matrices – An Overview

Carmen Alice Teaca, Fulga Tanasa, Madalina Zanoaga

Abstract


The production of wood-based polymer composites has gained increasing interest in recent years, especially regarding sustainability issues, aiming at the recovery, reuse, and up-cycling of by-products from natural resources exploitation, as well as plastics. Due to their reduced cost, low density, and availability, wood components (fibers, flour) are attractive fillers for thermoplastic polymer matrices used in multi-component systems. Performance of wood-based thermoplastic materials mainly depends on the type and strength of interactions at the polymer-wood interface. Different low polarity polymers (high/low density polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinylchloride) can be successfully used as matrices in such formulations. Various methods may be applied in order to obtain specified performance attributes of wood-based composites. Addition of appropriate compatibilizing agents, chemical and/or physical modification of the filler in order to improve its compatibility towards the matrix, or a judicious combination of these approaches may be employed. This paper briefly reviews some recent literature data, as well as research results by the authors, aiming at a comparative assessment of the materials properties (structure, thermal, mechanical and water sorption behavior) in correlation with the nature and type of components, processing, recycling options, and environmental impact.

Keywords


Composites; Thermoplastic polymer matrix; Wood filler; Properties; Investigation methods

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