Differing from the hot-pressing method in the manufacturing of traditional wood-rubber composites (WRCs), this study was aimed at fabricating WRCs using rubber processing to improve water resistance and mechanical properties. Three steps were used to make WRCs, namely, fiber-rubber mixing, tabletting, and the vulcanization molding process. Ninety-six WRC panels were made with wood fiber contents of 0%–50% at rotor rotational speeds of 15–45 rpm and filled coefficients of 0.55–0.75. Four regression equations, i.e.
, the tensile strength (T
s), elongation at break (E
b), hardness (H
a) and rebound resilience (R
r) as functions of fiber contents, rotational speed and filled coefficient, were derived and a nonlinear programming model were developed to obtain the optimum composite properties. Although the T
b and R
r of the panels were reduced, H
a was considerably increased by 17%–58% because of the wood fiber addition. Scanning electron microscope images indicated that fibers were well embedded in rubber matrix. The 24 h water absorption was only 1%–3%, which was much lower than commercial wood-based composites.
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