NC State
Huang, R., Xiong, W., Xu, X., and Wu, Q. (2012). "Thermal expansion behavior of co-extruded wood-plastic composites with glass-fiber reinforced shells," BioRes. 7(4), 5514-5526.


Coextruded wood-plastic composites (WPCs) with glass-fiber (GF) filled shells were manufactured, and their thermal expansion behavior was studied. A three-dimensional finite element model (FEM) considering differential properties of both shell and core layers was developed to predict the linear coefficient of thermal expansion (LCTE) of the material. It was shown that the LCTE values varied with composite structure and composition (i.e., core-shell thicknesses and materials). The use of GF-filled shells helped lower overall composite LCTE values. The imbalance of shell and core LCTE, and their moduli led to complex stress fields within a given composite system. The FEM predicted a trend of LCTE change with varying composite structures, which was in good agreement with the experimental data. This study provides for the first time a finite element modeling technique to optimize raw material composition and composite structure for optimizing thermal expansion behavior of co-extruded WPCs.
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