Development of Novel Wood-Plastic Composites from Recycled Materials
In this work, novel composite materials have been developed from recycled particleboards and fiberboards made with old-type urea-formaldehyde glues. Four alternative methods have been examined and optimized for glue removal prior to the use of wood fibers and chips. A critical comparison is made for the cleaning capacity of the four alternative methods. Micron-sized wood particles were used for the production of two types of wood-plastic composite (WPC) materials. In the first type, recycled commodity polymers were used as polymer matrices and included low-density and high-density polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene. In the second type, thermoplastic starch was used as a polymer matrix for the development of fully biodegradable WPCs. The new composite materials were characterized for their thermomechanical behavior, the water adsorption and the biodegradability in three types of soil. The role of addition of organically modified nanoclays and of coupling agents in the properties of WPCs is critically examined.
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