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    Author(s): Marja-Leena Kosonen; Bo Wang; Gerard T. Caneba; Douglas J. Gardner; Tim G. Rials
    Date: 2000
    Source: Clean Products and Processes 2 (2000) 117-123
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (726 KB)


    The combination of synthetic thermoplastic polymers and wood is normally problematic because wood surfaces are hydrophilic while typical thermoplastic polymers are hydrophobic. A possible solution is to use block copolymer coupling agents. In this work we show the use of a potentially useful synthetic method of producing hydrophilic-hydrophobic block copolymers as hydrophobic coatings and coupling agents in polystyrene/wood flour composites. In particular, wood veneers are coated with water-based emulsions of hydrophilic-hydrophobic block copolymers from styrene and methacrylic acid. Dried coated surfaces are shown to become hydrophobic through dynamic contact angle measurements. When wood flour is coated with the hydrophilic-hydrophobic block copolymer based on styrene and acrylic acid, significant improvement in the ultimate tensile properties of composites formed from coated wood flour/polystyrene mixtures is realized. Since no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are used in coating wood surfaces and subsequent composite production, improvement in mechanical properties of thermoplastic/wood flour composites are shown to occur in environmentally responsible formulations.

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    Kosonen, Marja-Leena; Wang, Bo; Caneba, Gerard T.; Gardner, Douglas J.; Rials, Tim G. 2000. Polystyrene/wood composites and hydrophobic wood coatings from water-based hydrophilic-hydrophobic block copolymers. Clean Products and Processes 2 (2000) 117-123

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