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    Composites of wood in a thermoplastic matrix (wood–plastic composites) are considered a low maintenance solution to using wood in outdoor applications. Knowledge of moisture uptake and transport properties would be useful in estimating moisture-related effects such as fungal attack and loss of mechanical strength. Our objectives were to determine how material parameters and their interactions affect the moisture uptake and transport properties of injection-molded composites of wood-flour and polypropylene and to compare two different methods of measuring moisture uptake and transport. A two- level, full-factorial design was used to investigate the effects and interactions of wood- flour content, wood-flour particle size, coupling agent, and surface removal on moisture uptake and transport of the composites. Sorption and diffusion experiments were performed at 208C and 65 or 85% relative humidity as well as in water, and diffusion coefficients were determined. The wood-flour content had the largest influence of all parameters on moisture uptake and transport properties. Many significant interactions between the variables were also found. The interaction between wood-flour content and surface treatment was often the largest. The diffusion coefficients derived from the diffusion experiments were different from those derived from the sorption experiments, suggesting that different mechanisms occur.

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    Steckel, Vera; Clemons, Craig Merrill; Thoemen, Heiko. 2007. Effects of material parameters on the diffusion and sorption properties of wood-flour/polypropylene composites. Journal of applied polymer science. Vol. 103 (2007): pages 752-763.


    Wood-flour, polypropylene, composites, diffusion, sorption, moisture, service life, injection molding of plastics, composite materials, deterioration, wood plastic composites, mechanical properties, thermoplastic composites, absorption, adsorption, humidity, moisture content, wood plastic materials

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