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    Undebarked ponderosa pine chips were treated by hot water extraction to modify the chemical composition. In the treated pine (TP) , the mass was reduced by approximately 20%, and the extract was composed mainly of degradation products of hemicelluloses. Wood flour produced from TP and unextracted chips (untreated pine, UP) was blended with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP) and was extruded into wood plastic composites (WPCs). Formulations for WPCs consisted of 58% pine, 32% plastic, and 10% other additives. WPC based on HDPE+TP and PP+TP absorbed 46-45% less water than did WPC based on HDPE+UP and PP+UP, respectively. Thickness swelling was reduced by 45-59%, respectively, after 2520 h of immersion. The diffusion constant decreased by approximately 36%. Evaluation of mechanical properties in flexure and tension mode indicated improvements in TP-WPC properties, although the data were not statistically significant in all cases. Results showed that debarking of ponderosa pine is not required for WPC production.

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    Pelaez-Samaniego, Manuel Raul; Yadama, Vikram; Lowell, Eini; Amidon, Thomas E.; Chaffee, Timothy L. 2013. Hot water extracted wood fiber for production of wood plastic composites (WPCs). De Gruyter. 67(2): 193-200.


    extrusion, hot water extraction, hygroscopicity, wood plastic composite (WPC)

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