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  • 1.
    Butylina, Svetlana
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Material Science. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lappeenranta University of Technology .
    Hyvärinen, Marko
    Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lappeenranta University of Technology.
    Kärki, Timo
    Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lappeenranta University of Technology.
    Weathering of wood-polypropylene and wood-wollastonite-polypropylene composites containing pigments in Finnish climatic conditions2015In: Pigment & Resin Technology, ISSN 0369-9420, E-ISSN 1758-6941, Vol. 44, no 5, p. 313-321Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to study the resistance of wood-polypropylene and wood-wollastonite-polypropylene composites containing pigments to natural weathering. Design/methodology/approach Natural weathering of composites was conducted in Finnish climatic conditions for one year. The colour of the composites was determined with a spectrophotometer, the morphology of the composite surface was analysed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and the changes in the polymer structure in surface layer of the composites were analysed with differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Charpy impact strength was determined with an impact tester. Findings The pigments used in this study reduced the colour change of the composites exposed to outdoor weathering as compared with the un-coloured composite. The carbon black pigment was more effective than the iron oxide pigment. Moreover, only the carbon black pigment was found to reduce the degradation of the surface layer of the composites. The addition of the carbon black pigment had a positive effect on the dimensional stability of the composites in a water absorption test. Only the combination of the carbon black pigment and wollastonite resulted in a composite which was capable to retain its Charpy impact strength both after one year of outdoor weathering and cyclic treatment. Research limitations/implications This study is a part of continuous research on the development of wood-polymer composites (WPUs) suitable for outdoor applications in Finnish climatic conditions. The first part of the study, which has been published earlier, showed the results of weathering of composites in accelerated tests in comparison with 1,000 hours outdoor exposure during summer time (June and July). Outdoor weathering limited to 1,000 hours cannot give an objective view on the weathering behaviour of composites in Finnish climatic conditions. The results of the current study were obtained from one-year outdoor exposure of composites. Originality/value The wood-polypropylene composite made with the combination of the carbon black pigment and wollastonite can be recommended for outdoor applications. The study provides useful information on the resistance of wood-polypropylene composites to weathering in Finnish climatic conditions.

  • 2.
    Butylina, Svetlana
    et al.
    Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland.
    Kärki, Timo
    Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland.
    Resistance to weathering of wood-polypropylene and wood-wollastonite-polypropylene composites made with and without carbon black2014In: Pigment & Resin Technology, ISSN 0369-9420, E-ISSN 1758-6941, Vol. 43, no 4, p. 185-193Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to study natural and accelerated weathering of wood-polypropylene (WF-PP) and wood-wollastonite-polypropylene composites made with and without carbon black.

    Design/methodology/approach - Natural weathering was conducted in Ruokolahti, Finland in the time of year when solar radiation was maximal. The accelerated weathering tests included exposure to a xenon-arc source with and without spray, and a cyclic test consisting of water immersion-freeze-thaw stages.

    Findings - Both the type of weathering and the formulation of the composite determined the degree of change in their properties. Weathering, including xenon-arc exposure with spray resulted in much higher changes of colour of non-pigmented composites compared to natural weathering or xenon-arc weathering without spray. Both UV irradiation and moisture had an adverse effect on the Charpy impact strength of non-pigmented composites. Carbon black containing composites performed better than non-pigmented composites.

    Research limitations/implications - This study is a part of an ongoing research on the development of wood-polymer composites (WPCs) suitable for outdoor applications in Finnish climatic conditions. Outdoor weathering limited to 1,000 h cannot be used for the prediction of the service life of composites and was used here solely for comparative purposes.

    Originality/value - This paper will help to understand the effect of different weathering factors on the behaviour of WF-PP and wood-wollastonite-polypropylene composites made with and without carbon black (as UV stabiliser). The study demonstrated that while accelerated weathering tests provided useful information on the resistance of WF-PP composites to different weathering factors, they cannot be used alone to predict the behaviour of WPCs meant for outdoor application

  • 3.
    Butylina, Svetlana
    et al.
    Mechanical Engineering, Lappeenranta University of Technology.
    Martikka, Ossi
    Mechanical Engineering, Lappeenranta University of Technology.
    Kärki, Timo
    Mechanical Engineering, Lappeenranta University of Technology.
    Effects of water immersion-freeze-thaw cycling on the properties of wood-polypropylene composites containing pigments2011In: Pigment & Resin Technology, ISSN 0369-9420, E-ISSN 1758-6941, Vol. 40, no 6, p. 386-392Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to study the effects of water immersion-freeze-thaw treatment on the physical properties, flexural strength (FS) and morphology of wood-polypropylene composites containing pigments. Design/methodology/approach - Wood-polypropylene composites containing brown, green and grey pigments were compounded in a conical twinscrew extruder. A composite manufactured without any pigment addition was used as a reference. The amount of pelletized wood, polypropylene and coupling agent (MAPP) was kept constant. The moisture content, thickness swelling (TS), FS and surface colour of the composites were measured before and after water immersion-freeze-thaw cycling. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to study the morphology of the composites. Findings - FS and dimensional stability were reduced after exposure to water immersion-freeze-thaw cycling for all composites. The surface properties (colour and roughness) of the composites also changed after exposure to water immersion-freeze-thaw cycling. The degree of change depended on the presence of pigment and the type of polypropylene (neat or recycled), however. Research limitations/implications - This study is a part of an ongoing study on weathering of wood-polymer composites (WPC) containing different additives. The results of this study were obtained from accelerated laboratory experiments. Practical implications - Inorganic pigments are widely used as additives in plastics, because they have an excellent UV absorption, good IR-reflective properties and heat stability. The research revealed that metal-containing pigments had an effect on degradation in quality of wood-polypropylene composites exposed to water immersion-freeze-thaw cyclic treatment. The addition of metal-containing pigments to composite formulation resulted in a higher susceptibility of wood-polypropylene composites to water absorption, and as a consequence to a higher drop of FS compared to composites made without pigment. The polymer matrix plays an important role in the protection of WPC against weathering. Originality/value - This paper will help in understanding possible problems in the durability of wood-polypropylene composites compounded with metal-based pigments when they are exposed to water immersion-freeze-thaw cyclic treatment.

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