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Open AccessArticle

Resistance of Injection Molded Wood-Polypropylene Composites against Basidiomycetes According to EN 15534-1: New Insights on the Test Procedure, Structural Alterations, and Impact of Wood Source

1
Wood Biology and Wood Products, Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology, University of Goettingen, Büsgenweg 4, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
2
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Bioprocess Engineering, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hannover, Heisterbergallee 10A, 30453 Hannover, Germany
3
Institute of Mechanical Wood Technology, Department of Wood Sciences, University of Hamburg, Leuschnerstraße 91c, 21031 Hamburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Fibers 2019, 7(10), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib7100092
Received: 5 July 2019 / Revised: 16 October 2019 / Accepted: 17 October 2019 / Published: 21 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Plastic Composites)
In this study, we investigated injection molded wood-polypropylene composites based on various wood sources and their decay resistance against white rot (Trametes versicolor) and brown rot (Coniophora puteana) in a laboratory test according to EN 15534-1:2014. The manufactured composites consisted of poplar (Populus spp.), willow (Salix spp.), European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.), Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.), and a commercial wood source (Arbocel® C100), respectively. All formulations were compounded on a co-rotating twin screw extruder and subsequently injection molded to wood–PP specimens with a wood content of 60% or 70% by weight. It was found that the test procedure had a significant effect on the mechanical properties. Loss in mechanical properties was primarily caused by moisture and less by fungal decay. Moisture caused a loss in the modulus of rupture and modulus of elasticity of 34 to 45% and 29 to 73%, respectively. Mean mass and wood mass losses were up to a maximum of 3.7% and 5.3%, respectively. The high resistance against fungal decay was generally attributed to the encapsulation of wood by the polymer matrix caused by sample preparation, and enhanced by reduced moisture uptake during the preconditioning procedure. Notable differences with respect to the wood particle source and decay fungi were also observed. Structural characterization confirmed the decay pattern of the fungi such as void cavities close the surface and the deposition of calcium oxalates. View Full-Text
Keywords: wood–polypropylene composites; WPC; EN 15534-1; durability test; basidiomycetes; wood–moisture interaction; mechanical properties; x-ray micro-computed tomography wood–polypropylene composites; WPC; EN 15534-1; durability test; basidiomycetes; wood–moisture interaction; mechanical properties; x-ray micro-computed tomography
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Krause, K.C.; Brischke, C.; Koddenberg, T.; Buschalsky, A.; Militz, H.; Krause, A. Resistance of Injection Molded Wood-Polypropylene Composites against Basidiomycetes According to EN 15534-1: New Insights on the Test Procedure, Structural Alterations, and Impact of Wood Source. Fibers 2019, 7, 92.

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