Permanent link to Research Commons versionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10289/15611
This paper investigates the potential of recycling waste copper chromium and arsenic (CCA)-treated timber for use as a reinforcement material in wood–plastic composites (WPCs) produced for use in construction, including an assessment of mechanical properties and the leaching of heavy metals. Wood flour was obtained through mechanical grinding, and fibres were obtained through alkaline digestion followed by bleaching. Composites produced with 40 wt.% bleached fibres showed increased tensile strength from 18.5 MPa for the polypropylene used as the matrix to 27.6 MPa. Likewise, the Young’s modulus was increased from 0.84 to 2.33 GPa. The treatment of fibres was found to reduce arsenic concentration by up to 99.9%. Furthermore, the arsenic in the leachate from composites was found to decrease from 41.29 to 0.07 ppb when comparing CCA-treated wood flour composites to bleached fibre composites. The composites’ material properties indicate that the use of end-of-life CCA-treated timber could be used to produce a composite material that could be used in New Zealand’s building sector to meet the requirements of semi-structural applications.
© 2022 by the authors. Submitted for possible open-access publication under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.