Impact of Stone Ground ‘V-fines’ Dispersion and Compatibilization on Polyethylene Wood Plastic Composites

Kirsi Immonen, Erkki Saharinen, Ilkka Nurminen, Jari Sirviö, David Sandquist

Abstract


Recent studies have suggested that blocky mechanical pulp fines (CTMP fines) and fibrillar fines (SMC fines) have a negative impact on biocomposite modulus of rupture (MoR) in compression molded biocomposites. In addition, it was suggested that CTMP fines also have a negative impact on biocomposite modulus of elasticity (MoE). This study investigated whether these findings transfer to other types of cellulose fines material and injection molding. The effect of ‘V-fines’ addition to sawdust- and TMP-based biocomposites was analyzed, with respect to fines concentration, dispersing agent, and compatibilizers. The results indicated that the addition of ‘V-fines’ increased the stiffness (MoE) of all the analyzed compositions, while reducing the elongation at break. The addition of 'V-fines' reduced the tensile and flexural strength of TMP biocomposites, while it was largely unaffected for sawdust biocomposites. Flexural strength for neat 'V-fines' composites showed an increase that was proportional to the remaining pulp fibers composition. The addition of a dispersant agent to the 'V-fines' increased tensile strength, suggesting that an increased dispersion of the 'V-fines' can be achieved and is beneficial to the composite. The effects of the analyzed compatibilizer (polyethyleneoxide) was negligible, except for a small indication of increased MoE for fines / sawdust biocomposites.

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