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Optimizing the Mechanical Properties of Wood Plastic Composites Using Fiber-Glass

[+] Author Affiliations
Mahdi Ashrafi, Ashkan Vaziri, Hamid Nayeb-Hashemi

Northeastern University, Boston, MA

Masoud Olia

Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, MA

Paper No. IMECE2011-64043, pp. 197-202; 6 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 3: Design and Manufacturing
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5489-1
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Wood plastic composites (WPC) are widely used in the industry due to its durability, low cost, and anti-moisture properties in comparison with the natural wood. Recently, WPC are also being considered in musical instrument industry. In this research, we have produced flout shaped WPC samples using African black wood powder and Phenolic resin in a hot compression molding set-up. Initial WPC composites were produced by systematically changing the wood volume fraction. The results showed cracks developed in composites with more than 70% wood. This was related to formation of gas in the system during manufacturing and lack of fluidity in the system to flush the gases. Based on these results the optimum temperature, pressure and wood volume fraction for developing WPC in a form of a flute is developed. A series of experimental procedures were performed to improve mechanical properties of WPC samples by studying the effect short fiber-glass addition to the wood matrix prior to hot pressing. The results showed that the addition of short fiber did not improve the strength of WPC but rather than it reduced its strength compared to unreinforced composite. This was attributed to lack of bonding between short fibers and wood matrix. In contrast encapsulated wood particle composite in an E-glass/epoxy composite sheet before hot pressing showed the mechanical properties of wood composite are enhanced. A two layer unidirectional composite was sufficient for producing flute with desirable mechanical properties. On the basis of the experimental results, a very simple method to enhance the load-bearing capability of WPC which may allow producing reinforced WPC in the form of flout shape is developed.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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