Dual morphology (fibres and particles) cellulosic filler for WPC materials
Wood-plastic composites (WPC) were fabricated by using a polyethylene (PE) matrix and filling it with wood flour in the amount of 30 wt.%, and compared with the same composites with further amount of 10 wt.% of cellulosic recycled fibres added. The materials were produced by turbomixing and subsequent moulding under pressure. Mechanical properties of both WPC and WPC with cellulosic recycled fibres were evaluated through mechanical and physical-chemical tests. Tensile tests clarified that a
... larified that a moderate reduction is strength is observed with the bare introduction of wood flour with respect to the neat PE matrix, whilst some recovery is offered by the addition of recycled cellulose fibres. Even more promisingly, the elastic modulus of PE matrix is substantially improved by the addition of wood flour (around 8% on average) and much more so with the further addition of recycled cellulose (around 20% on average). The fracture surfaces from the tensile test were analysed by scanning electron microscope (SEM) indicating a reduction in microporosity as an effect of added cellulose. The water absorption test and the hardness measure (Shore D) were also performed. SEM analysis underlined the weak interface between both wood particle and cellulosic recycled fibres and matrix. The water absorption test showed a higher mass variation for pure WPC than WPC with cellulosic recycled fibres. The hardness measurement showed that the presence of cellulosic recycled fibres improves both superficial hardness of the composite and temperature resistance.