Alien wood species as a resource for wood-plastic composites
Medved, Sergej (Author), Krapež Tomec, Daša (Author), Balzano, Angela (Author), Merela, Maks (Author)

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Since invasive alien species are one of the main causes of biodiversity loss in the region and thus of changes in ecosystem services, it is important to find the best possible solution for their removal from nature and the best practice for their usability. The aim of the study was to investigate their properties as components of wood-plastic composites and to investigate the properties of the wood-plastic composites produced. The overall objective was to test the potential of available alien plant species as raw material for the manufacture of products. This would contribute to sustainability and give them a better chance of ending their life cycle. One of the possible solutions on a large scale is to use alien wood species for the production of wood plastic composites (WPC). Five invasive alien hardwood species have been used in combination with polyethylene powder (PE) and maleic anhydride grafted polyethylene (MAPE) to produce various flat pressed WPC boards. Microstructural analyses (confocal laser scanning microscopy and scanning electron microscopy) and mechanical tests (flexural strength, tensile strength) were performed. Furthermore, measurements of density, thickness swelling, water absorption and dimensional stability during heating and cooling were carried out. Comparisons were made between the properties of six WPC boards (five alien wood species and mixed boards). The results showed that the differences between different invasive alien wood species were less obvious in mechanical properties, while the differences in sorption properties and dimensional stability were more significant. The analyses of the WPC structure showed a good penetration of the polymer into the lumens of the wood cells and a fine internal structure without voids. These are crucial conditions to obtain a good, mechanically strong and water-resistant material.

Keywords:alien plants, wood plastic composite, flexural strength, tensile strength, swelling, dimension stability, scanning electron microscopy, invazivne vrst, lesno plastični kompoziti, elektronska mikroskopija, anatomija lesa
Tipology:1.01 - Original Scientific Article
Organization:BF - Biotechnical Faculty
Number of pages:Str. 1-16
Numbering:Vol. 11, iss. 1
ISSN on article:2076-3417
DOI:10.3390/app11010044 This link opens in a new window
COBISS.SI-ID:44178179 This link opens in a new window
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Record is a part of a journal

Title:Applied sciences
Shortened title:Appl. sci.
COBISS.SI-ID:522979353 This link opens in a new window

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