Insect damaged wood as a source of reinforcing filler for thermoplastic composites

Türker Güleç, Mürşit Tufan, Selçuk Akbaş


In this study, wood polymer composites were manufactured using insect damaged Eastern Black Sea Fir (A. Nordmanniana) wood as filler. The effects of wood type (sound vs insect damaged) and presence of coupling agent (0% vs 3%) on the flexural, tensile, impact, thermal and morphological properties of the wood polymer composites were investigated. The mechanical property values of the wood polymer composites specimens decreased when insect damaged wood was used as filler than sound wood, except for the impact strength values. Flexural, tensile and impact strength values, insect damaged wood filled with coupling agent composites provided higher values compared to sound wood filled without coupling agent composites. However, addition of maleic anhydride-graftedpolyethylene coupling agent into polymeric matrix improved both sound and insect damaged filled composite properties. Thermogravimetric analysis analysis showed two main decomposition peaks for polymer composites. Compared to unfilled high-density polyethylene, addition of both sound and insect damaged wood reduced decomposition peak but increased the residue due to the charring of the wood. The results of differential scanning calorimeter analysis showed that addition of sound or insect damaged wood in polymer matrix increase the crystallinity compared the unfilled high-density polyethylene due to the nucleating effect of the filler. Among the composite maleic anhydride-graftedpolyethylene modified composites provided higher crystallinity than unmodified ones.


Compression moulding; electron microscopy; mechanical properties; polymer; thermal analysis.


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