Standard Article

Wood Plastic Composite: Present and Future

  1. Omar Faruk1,2,
  2. Andrzej K. Bledzki2,3

Published Online: 20 JUL 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118097298.weoc264

Wiley Encyclopedia of Composites

Wiley Encyclopedia of Composites

How to Cite

Faruk, O. and Bledzki, A. K. 2012. Wood Plastic Composite: Present and Future. Wiley Encyclopedia of Composites. 1–20.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

  2. 2

    University of Kassel, Kassel, Germany

  3. 3

    West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin, Poland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 JUL 2012

Abstract

Wood-plastic composites (WPCs) may be one of the most dynamic sectors of the present day plastic industry. Although the technology is not new, there is growing interest in the new design possibilities that this marriage of materials offers. The formulation variations of WPCs that increase wood content offer expansion into other uses, and volume processors must produce faster, better, and cheaper materials. On the other hand, weatherability and life cycle costs are the major factors that restrict the expansion of the field of WPCs.

This article gives an overview of the recent literature, covering all aspects of WPC materials and their performance as of today. It focuses on their compositions, that is, thermoplastics and thermosets, wood fiber types, and additives. Furthermore, it includes recent progress and improvements in the WPC production area. The processes (compounding, extrusion, injection molding, and compression molding) used for the manufacture of WPC products are described. The properties (mechanical, physical, and biological) of WPC are also covered. This paper proceeds to take the performance and properties of microcellular-foamed WPC and nano-WPC into account. Last, this paper concludes with applications, developments, and future trends of WPCs.

Keywords:

  • wood–plastic composites;
  • hardwood fiber;
  • softwood fiber;
  • modification;
  • extrusion;
  • injection molding;
  • compounding;
  • compression molding;
  • tensile properties;
  • flexural properties;
  • impact properties;
  • water absorption;
  • swelling;
  • microcellular foaming;
  • nanocomposites;
  • moisture content;
  • fungal