Fiber length and distribution play important roles in the processing and mechanical performance of fiber-based products such as paper and fiberboard. In the case of wood-plastic composites (WPC), the production of WPC with long fibers has been neglected, because they are difficult to handle with current production equipment. This study provides a better understanding or the effect of fiber length on WPC processing and properties. The objectives of this study were therefore to determine the role of fiber length in the formation process and property development of WPC. Three chemithermomechanical pulps (CTMP) with different lengths, distributions, and length-to-diameter ratios (L/D) were obtained by mechanical refining. Length, shape, and distribution were characterized using a fiber quality analyzer (FQA). The rheometer torque properties of high-density polyethylene (HOPE) filled with the pulps at different loads were studied. Variations in fiber load and length distribution resulted in significant variations in melting properties and torque characteristics. Composites from the three length distributions were successfully processed using extrusion. Physical and mechanical properties of the obtained composites varied with both length distribution and additive type. Mechanical properties increased with increasing fiber length, whereas performance in water immersion tests decreased.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry