Interface characterisation)

Project

Probing interfaces between plastic and natural fibre composites

The proposed project will investigate how polyester plastic becomes bonded to wood veneer and particles
within novel wood-plastic composite sandwich structures. Analysis will compare plastic-wood fibre
interactions from molecular to micro-scale and relate these interfacial behaviours with composite performance
and mechanical properties.

Background and Objective

The study outcomes will significantly enhance understandings of wood polymer composite
interfaces, and how they develop during processing. Such fundamental understandings of factors
controlling interfacial behaviours are a prerequisite when optimising composite performance. This
study builds on an earlier, preliminary Scion-Hamburg collaboration which developed the initial
knowledge and unique combination of techniques to successfully extend the collaboration and
progress to these types of composites.

The study outcomes will significantly enhance understandings of wood polymer composite
interfaces, and how they develop during processing. Such fundamental understandings of factors
controlling interfacial behaviours are a prerequisite when optimising composite performance. This
study builds on an earlier, preliminary Scion-Hamburg collaboration which developed the initial
knowledge and unique combination of techniques to successfully extend the collaboration and
progress to these types of composites.

Approach

In this project, we will evaluate the adhesive and cohesive bonding of polyester plastics to wood
veneer in novel composite sandwich structures. We will determine the molecular, polymer and
microscopic behaviours at the plastic-wood interfaces within the composite structures and relate
these to mechanical properties and composite performance. Specifically, advanced microscopy and
chemical analysis techniques available at the research partners Scion, the Thünen-Institute (TI) and
University Hamburg (UHH) will be used to determine these interfaces and compare polymer and
engineering properties. The new style of plastic-wood composites will be prepared with the plastic in
either sheet or low density foamed laminate form. These differing plastic forms may be expected to
provide differing interfacial interactions which manifest in molecular-, nano-, micro- and macro-scale
properties. Analysis of composites will be extended to include those formed with other natural fibres
and modified wood fibres to determine any contrasting interactions due to controlled changes in
fibre chemistry or reinforcement provided by fibre.

Thünen-Contact


Involved external Thünen-Partners

  • SCION
    (Rotorua, Neuseeland)

Funding Body

  • Federal Ministry of Food und Agriculture (BMEL)
    (national, öffentlich)

Duration

1.2017 - 12.2018

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: ongoing