, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 73-82

Water uptake and mechanical characteristics of wood fiber-polypropylene composites

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The influence of mixing process (in a two-roll mill, high-speed mixer, or twin-screw extruder) on the strength properties of polypropylene/wood fiber composites was studied. The best results were obtained for composites compounded in a twin-screw extruder. The water uptake and the influence of moisture on the flexural strength (σfl) and modulus (Efl) were studied by immersion of the composites in water at 20, 50, and 90°C. Most strongly the moisture affected the value of Efl, but the degree of water uptake and the change in σfl and Efl also depended on temperature and the presence of a modificator—maleated polypropylene (MAH). MAH improved the strength properties of the composites both in dry and wet states and also decreased the extent of water uptake and swelling in cyclic (soaking/drying) tests.

Russian translation published in Mekhanika Kompozitnykh Materialov, Vol. 42, No. 1, pp. 101–114, January–February, 2006.