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Individual Highlight

Wood-Plastic Composites Improved with Fiber Pre-Treatment

Photo of Beetle-killed lodgepole pine fiber treated with potassium methyl siliconate. Cheng Piao, Louisiana State UniversityBeetle-killed lodgepole pine fiber treated with potassium methyl siliconate. Cheng Piao, Louisiana State UniversitySnapshot : Scientists determine the dimensional stability of wood-plastic composites can be improved by treating wood sawdust and particles derived from beetle-killed trees with potassium methyl siliconate before incorporating the wood into high-density polyethylene.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Stark, Nicole M.Cai, Zhiyong
Research Location : Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, WI; Lousiana State University
Research Station : Forest Products Laboratory (FPL)
Year : 2013
Highlight ID : 453

Summary

Wood from beetle-killed trees was used to fabricate wood-plastic composites. Beetle-killed lodgepole pine trees were harvested, chipped, and defibrated. Sawdust collected during chipping and fibers were modified with potassium methyl siliconate (PMS) and injection-molded with high-density polyethylene into composites. Treatment of the fiber/sawdust with PMS decreased water sorption and increased dimensional stability. Increasing fiber-to-sawdust ratios also decreased water sorption. The performance of composites containing wood from beetle-killed trees was similar to the performance of composites containing wood derived from a healthy resource.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • Louisiana State University