NC State
BioResources
Toghyani, A. E., Matthews, S., Eskelinen, H., Kärki, T., and Varis, J. (2016). "Feasibility assessment of a wood-plastic composite post-production process: Formability," BioRes. 11(2), 4168-4185.

Abstract

Wood-plastic composites (WPCs) – one of a number of promising classes of materials in the manufacturing industries – are experiencing rapid market growth. However, the favorable characteristics of this material and the development of new production processes and post-production processes suggest even greater potential for utilization of WPCs. This paper evaluates the formability of an extruded WPC material comprising nearly 45% wood fiber, 50% thermoplastic, and 5% of other additives in a novel extrusion-based post-production process. The press-forming process described in this work is used to form and cut the pre-determined profile shape to obtain the final product. After preliminary tests to determine the suitable temperature range, dimensions, and roughness range for a post-extrusion hot-pressing process of a sample WPC product, a diverse set of product quality tests were then conducted on pre-heated sheets of WPC material using forming tools attached to a hydraulic press. The forming process had high accuracy with respect to dimensional precision and acceptable repeatability. The forming process also reduced the surface roughness of the material. The test results clearly demonstrated the dependence of final product quality on the quality of the original extruded WPC profiles used, e.g., with respect to the thickness variation of the material.
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