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Characterization of composites based on expanded polystyrene wastes and wood flour

Poletto, Matheus, Dettenborn, Juliane, Zeni, Mara, Zattera, Ademir J.
Waste management 2011 v.31 no.4 pp. 779-784
manufacturing, mechanical properties, polystyrenes, recycled materials, recycling, thermoplastics, wastes, wood, wood flour, wood plastic composites
This paper aims to evaluate the potential for the use of recycled expanded polystyrene and wood flour as materials for the development of wood plastic composites. The effects of wood flour loading and coupling agent addition on the mechanical properties and morphology of wood thermoplastic composites were examined. In addition, a methodology for the thermo-mechanical recycling of expanded polystyrene waste was developed. The results show that the mechanical properties decreased as the wood flour loading increased. On the other hand, the use of poly(styrene-co-maleic anhydride), SMA, as a coupling agent improved the compatibility between the wood flour and polystyrene matrix and the mechanical properties subsequently improved. A morphological study revealed the positive effect of the coupling agent on the interfacial bonding. The density values obtained for the composites were compared with the theoretical values and showed agreement with the rule of mixtures. Based on the findings of this work, it appears that both recycled materials can be used to manufacture composites with high mechanical properties and low density.