Properties of softwood polymer composites impregnated with nanoparticles and melamine formaldehyde furfuryl alcohol copolymer



Wood polymer composites (WPC) based on nano SiO2 and nanoclay were prepared by the impregnation of melamine formaldehyde-furfuryl alcohol copolymer, 1,3-dimethylol 4,5-dihydroxy ethylene urea, a crosslinking agent, and a renewable polymer. Surface modification of SiO2 and formation of composites were characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). X-ray diffractometry (XRD) studies indicated a decrease in crystallinity of the composites. The crystallinity index value of wood cellulose decreased from 63.8 to 30.8 as determined from FTIR and XRD studies. Scanning Electron Microscopy was used for morphological characterization. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) showed uniform distribution of nano SiO2 and nanoclay in the composites. Remarkable reduction in water uptake capacity was observed for the treated wood samples. It was found to reduce from 142.2% to 30.2%. Both tensile and flexural properties increased upto 76.5% and 23.6%, respectively in the WPCs. An improvement in chemical resistance, flame retardancy and thermal stability were observed in the composites as a result of treatment. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 54:1019–1029, 2014. © 2013 Society of Plastics Engineers