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Investigation on the uniformity of high-density polyethylene/wood fiber composites in a twin-screw extruder

Authors

  • Jingjing Zhang,

    1. School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, People's Republic of China
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  • Chul B. Park,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, People's Republic of China
    2. Microcellular Plastics Manufacturing Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, M5S 3G8 Ontario, Canada
    • School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, People's Republic of China
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  • Ghaus M. Rizvi,

    1. Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
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  • Hanxiong Huang,

    1. School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, People's Republic of China
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  • Qingping Guo

    1. Microcellular Plastics Manufacturing Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, M5S 3G8 Ontario, Canada
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  • The first author, Jingjing Zhang, express thanks to China Scholarship Council for the scholarship to study at the University of Toronto.

Abstract

Uniform dispersion of wood fiber in high-density polyethylene can improve the mechanical properties and surface finish of the wood plastic composites. However, it is difficult to achieve uniform dispersion when the wood content is high, due to its low thermal stability, incompatibility with polymer, and affinity for agglomeration. This work was undertaken to improve the uniformity of high-density polyethylene/wood composites by designing screw configurations, optimizing screw speed, and altering material compositions. The rheological properties and scanning electron microscope micrograph were used to characterize the uniformity. The results showed that the medium dispersive and distributive mixing, medium screw speed, and lubricant were all beneficial in improving uniformity. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2009

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