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Official Journal of the Japan Wood Research Society

Fundamental studies on wood/cellulose-plastic composites: effects of composition and cellulose dimension on the properties of cellulose/PP composite


Although wood/cellulose-plastic composites (WPC) of low wood/cellulose content have been more accepted worldwide and are promoted as low-maintenance, high-durability building products, composites containing high wood/cellulose content are not yet developed on an industrial scale. In this study, flow properties, mechanical properties, and water absorption properties of the compounds of cellulose microfiber/polypropylene (PP) and maleic anhydride-grafted polypropylene (MAPP) were investigated to understand effects of the high cellulose content and the dimensions of the cellulose microfiber. The molding processes studied included compression, injection, and extrusion. It was found that fluidity is not only dependent on resin content but also on the dimension of the filler; fluidity of the compound declined with increased fiber length with the same resin content. Dispersion of the composite was monitored by charge-coupled device (CCD) microscope. Increasing the plastic content in the cellulose-plastic formulation improved the strength of mold in addition to the bond development between resin and filler, and the tangle of fibers. The processing mode affected the physicomechanical properties of the cellulosic plastic. Compression-molded samples exhibited the lowest modulus of rupture (MOR) and modulus of elasticity (MOE) and the highest water absorption, while samples that were injection-molded exhibited the highest MOR (70 MPa) and MOE (7 GPa) and low water absorption (2%).


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Correspondence to Tadashi Okamoto.

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Kumari, R., Ito, H., Takatani, M. et al. Fundamental studies on wood/cellulose-plastic composites: effects of composition and cellulose dimension on the properties of cellulose/PP composite. J Wood Sci 53, 470–480 (2007).

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