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Official Journal of the Japan Wood Research Society

Surface deterioration of wood-flour polypropylene composites by weathering trials


The market for wood-fiber plastic composites (WPCs) is expanding rapidly in many countries including Japan, where WPCs are mainly used for exterior products. In such applications, WPCs undergo undesirable color change, chalking, and shrinkage and swelling, and accordingly there is a need to better understand the mechanisms responsible for the weathering of WPC and develop methods of improving their weathering resistance. In this study, weatherability of WPC was assessed by natural and accelerated weathering trials. Discoloration (whitening) of WPC during exposure was caused by degradation of both wood and plastic. Darker color pigments as additives improved the color stability of WPC; however, chalking on the surfaces still occurred. The color stability of WPC was improved by application of exterior coatings. Preweathering of WPC (before coatings were applied) increased the absorption of coatings by the WPC and had a positive effect on the color stability and prevented chalking of the composites.


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Correspondence to Makoto Kiguchi.

Additional information

Parts of this study were presented at the IUFRO XXII World Congress Meeting, Brisbane, August 2005 and the IAWPS 2005, Yokohama, November 2005

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Kiguchi, M., Kataoka, Y., Matsunaga, H. et al. Surface deterioration of wood-flour polypropylene composites by weathering trials. J Wood Sci 53, 234–238 (2007).

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Key words

  • WPC
  • Weathering
  • Discoloration
  • Chalking
  • Finishing