Chemical modification of lignocellulosic fibers can improve interfacial adhesion and dimensionally stabilize the resulting plastic composites. This study examined the rheological properties of wood flour/high density polyethylene (HDPE) melts after poplar wood flour was modified with glutaraldehyde (GA, mainly cell wall cross-linking) and 1,3-dimethylol-4,5-dihydroxyethyleneurea (DMDHEU, mainly poly-condensation). Results show improvement in both the dispersibility of treated wood flour in the HDPE and its interfacial compatibility. Treatment with GA decreased melt viscosity, moduli, and shear stress as evidenced by rheometry. However, the modifying effects of DMDHEU were not observed, which was mainly due to reduced HDPE content. This study indicates that chemical modification of wood flour is a promising approach to improve the processability of highly filled wood thermoplastic composites via extrusion/injection molding processing.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry