Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Rebecca E. Ibach; Marek Gnatowski; Grace Sun
    Date: 2013
    Source: Forest Prod. J. Volume 63, Number 3/4, pp. 76–87.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Forest Products Laboratory
    PDF: View PDF  (1.12 MB)

    Description

    Experimental wood–plastic composites (WPCs) were made so that they matched the manufacturing process, dimensions, and water absorption of some commercial decking boards. WPC samples from selected formulations were divided into two identical groups. The first group was exposed in exterior conditions in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Hilo, Hawaii, at sun and shadow sites. Water absorption and biological activity were monitored by field inspection, density change measurement, and optical and scanning electron microscopy. The second group was used for soil block culture testing performed according to AWPA E10 (or ASTM D1413). Specimens were conditioned by immersion in water at room and elevated temperatures. Results of fungal decay activity are reported as specimen weight loss or corresponding density decrease. Observed density changes during field exposure and soil block culture testing are compared. Samples exposed to aggressive exterior conditions underwent decay, which was detected by microscopic inspection of board cross sections and calculated density decrease. Fruiting bodies of brown-rot decay fungi (Dacryopinax spathularia) were found on some sample surfaces during field inspections. The decay process of tested materials in the field seemed to require an initiation period dependent on exposure site. The shortest initiation time and the most aggressive environment for decay of WPC samples were found at the sunny site in Hilo. Laboratory soil block culture testing showed weight loss and density decrease of experimental WPCs to depend on conditioning. Correlations between laboratory test results and WPC performance in the field are described.

    Publication Notes

    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Ibach, Rebecca E.; Gnatowski, Marek; Sun, Grace. 2013. Field and Laboratory Decay Evaluations of wood-plastic Composites. Forest Prod. J. Volume 63, Number 3/4, pp. 76–87.

    Cited

    Google Scholar

    Keywords

    wood-plastic composites, decay, moisture content, water absorption, density, dimensional stability, firel exposure, latoratory evaluations

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/45281