Wood plastic composites weathering: Visual appearance and chemical changes

James S. Fabiyi, Armando G. McDonald, Michael P. Wolcott, Peter R. Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

217 Scopus citations


The effects of outside and accelerated (xenon-arc and UVA) weathering on the visual appearance and chemical changes of wood plastic composite (WPC) formulations based on high density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP) were investigated. Colorimetry, scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (Py-GC-MS) were employed in this study. The study showed that for both outside and accelerated weathering, longer exposure time increased the degree of color change (and lightness), carbonyl concentrations, and wood loss on weathered WPC surfaces. HDPE-based WPC exhibited decreased lightening, carbonyl concentrations, and wood content loss when compared to PP-based WPC. From this study, relationships between chemical and color changes that occurred during exterior weathering of HDPE-based WPC were established. Oxidation and degradation of wood lignin influenced WPC color changes (lightening) during weathering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1405-1414
Number of pages10
JournalPolymer Degradation and Stability
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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