Effect of adding wood flour to the physical properties of a biodegradable polymer

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Wood flour/polymer composites (WPC) gained a significant interest during the last decades, due to several advantages related to theuse of a natural-organic filler rather than an inorganic-mineral one. However, most of the studies have been performed on compositesbased on polyolefin matrices. A further step is the use of biodegradable polymers instead of traditional ones.In this work, wood flour (WF), under the form of short fibers, with two different sizes (coarse and fine) was added to a corn starchbased biodegradable polymer of the Mater-Bi family. The effect of WF size, WF content, thermal treatment on the mechanical propertieswas investigated. The tensile mechanical tests showed an increase of rigidity of the composites upon increasing the WF content,together with a sharp decrease of the elongation at break. With regard to the tensile strength, no remarkable differences were observedupon changing wood flour size or type. In both cases, on average, there were often slightly better results with the samples which hadunderwent a drying pre-treatment. The increased rigidity was confirmed also by the impact tests, even though it decreased upon increasingthe WF content. The heat deflection temperature followed the same trend as the elastic modulus. The immersion tests suggested thatthese materials are not suitable to prolonged contact with water. Humidity absorption tests revealed that the matrix plays a fundamentalrole in humidity absorption. 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)503-513
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2008

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