Beg, M.D.H. & Pickering, K.L. (2008). Accelerated weathering of unbleached and bleached Kraft wood fibre reinforced polypropylene composites. Polymer Degradation and Stability, 93(10), 1939-1946.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/3847
In this paper, combined moisture/ultraviolet (UV) weathering performance of unbleached and bleached Kraft wood fibre reinforced polypropylene (PP) composites was studied. Composites containing 40 wt% fibre with 3 wt% of a maleated polypropylene (MAPP) coupling agent were fabricated using extrusion followed by injection moulding. Composite mechanical properties were evaluated, before and after accelerated weathering for 1000 h, by tensile and impact testing. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were also carried out to assess the changes occurring during accelerated weathering. Bleached fibre composites initially showed higher tensile and impact strengths, as well as higher thermal stability and greater crystallinity. During accelerated weathering, both unbleached and bleached fibre composites reduced tensile strength (TS) and Young's modulus (YM), with the extent of the reduction found to be similar for both unbleached and bleached fibre composites. Evidence supported that the reduction of TS and YM was due to PP chain scission, degradation of lignin and reduced fibre–matrix interfacial bonding.