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Wood Sawdust

Discuss About The Mechanical And Rheological Characteristics Of Wood Saw Dust.

The world is focusing on improving the environment safety in every country. The wood plastic is a blend made up of wood sawdust and the recycled plastic. These two components, polypropylene, and plastic undergo polymer blending. Polymers are slowly gaining fame in the industry as a new commodity. The standard procedure used in the process of polymer blends is the thermoplastic vulcanization, TPV. Recycling and reuse of waste materials are making the environment cleaner than it was some years back. According to statistics on the report generated by USEPA, about 8.25 million tons of plastic are collected in Europe, another 246 million tons of solid waste was obtained by the US municipal in the year 2005. On an annual basis, the UK records up to 500,000 tons of waste plastics that need recycling. Researchers have discovered ways to use the waste materials to come up with different components which can be used as household or industrial components (Irina, et al., 2016). In this research paper, the primary focus is on the wood sawdust and plastic blending with or without the anhydride compatibilizer. A compatibilizer is implemented during the polymer blending to ensure that the components being combined attain a good adhesion within the polymers.

The furniture industry is growing with new trends and furniture designs from different trees being modeled. The wood saw dust is a by-product of the furniture. It is obtained in varied particle sizes and needs to be sifted to use the correct grain size for the polymer blending. The machinery and lumbering equipment in the furniture industry are used to shape wood (Pascal , et al., 2003). The waste obtained from this process is the forest saw dust. Some of the attributes required of the wood sawdust are that it needs to have good absorbing properties, proper chemical reactant, be abrasive, and must act as a décor. During the polymer blending, the physical attributes of the PLA must be adjustable (Achmad, et al., 2014).

Most of the food items and other products are being packaged in plastic materials. The plastic materials are non-biodegradable, and in such cases, the wastes destroy the environment by blocking drainages and destroying the city’s aesthetics (Saeed, et al., 2006). There are different classifications of plastics internationally namely,

  • Polypropylene
  • Polyethylene terephthalate
  • Polyvinyl chloride
  • Polyethylene
  • Polystyrene
  • Polycarbonate (Lexan) and many more.

The difference between the different types of plastic is mainly based on the strength and structure of the material which implies its applications. For instance, the food manufacturing industry uses the polypropylene plastics which have high thermal resistance and are clear (Arun, et al., 2017). The material can easily be blended to form other materials such as ropes, electric kettles, and water drinking bottles. PET plastics are generated during the stretching of the polymers in different directions in heated form, and the result solidifies when cooled. PVC is highly undesired as it destroys the environment (Musa, et al., 2015). It finds its application in water and sewage waste pipes and plastic beams. Many researchers have discovered that the recycled plastics and virgin plastics possess the same nature of mechanical properties. These plastics are organic polymers of high molecular mass and contains other substances. Plastics are durable, and they degrade slowly by slowly as the chemical bonds that make the plastics quite resistant to cellulose processes of degradation (Badrina, et al., 2015).

Plastic Blend

Previously done work and case studies on the polymer blending propose that developing wood sawdust and synthetic blends can be achieved through the use of proper blending agents. According to an experiment carried out by Joyce Koran Teng, the composites are prepared by using coconut oil as the coupling agent, and wood sawdust is implemented as a filler to the already melted plastic. According to this researcher, the physical and mechanical properties of the elements used in blending are investigated such that the experiments are carried out based on particular levels of matter (Irina, et al., 2017). The scanning electron microscopy, SEM, is used to inspect the fractured sample surfaces once the flexural strength tests are carried out. The experiment in this research was carried out such that the ratio of wood sawdust to plastic input was 50:50. The elements were inspected to ensure that they were of good particle size in the range of . For such a plastic blend, the increase in the chemical matter in the mixture helped improve the stiffness of the composites. Adding more wood sawdust or fiber content ensured enhance water absorption rates. The combination was observed to have few or no fiber pullouts and fewer voids. The wood sawdust and plastic blend could find application in the field of construction such that the mix can form partitioning matter for room separation.

To achieve the blend between the recycled or virgin plastics and wood sawdust of the required grain size, one needs to use a compatibilizer to improve the adhesion of the components. The merits associated with the use of compatibilizers is that plastic blends are achieved without altering the essential rheological and mechanical attributes of the virgin plastic. The method of compatibilizers is cost-effective, and the applications of the polymers attained are numerous. Some polymers are formed without the use of anhydride compatibilizer. This research paper seeks to analyze the two cases and determine which is the most effective. When the compatibilizer is used, the maleic anhydride is used for the blending process. It is an organic compound, a product of the oxidation of the benzene aromatic compounds. The maleic anhydride is used in the blending process while it is in its vaporized form. The attributes of the anhydride are summarized as,



Chemical name


Melting point

The use of the organic compatibilizer necessitates large-scale production. Some of the commodities that are produced are such as the pipes, tanks of different shapes, and automobile fixtures. The anhydride is used in its vapor form hence the appliances made of it tend to be flammable. This research paper recommends that they are used and stored in dry and cold environments. It’s crucial to highlight that the thermoplastics are non-polar while the wood sawdust fibers are polar. The polar substances tend to have an affinity to absorb water and are referred to as hydrophilic materials (Chatree, et al., 2016). For such compounds to be blended the chemical coupling agents are implemented. As a result, it is crucial to ensure the formation of the blend is attained successfully.

  • The experiments discuss the parameters before implementing the polymer blending process: one determines the different applications of the products, the temperature that the products can stand, the size of the product, the shape and structure of the product, the atmospheric stability of the product, and the type of thermoplastics.
  • The wood fiber and the plastic components are well pre-treated, and some choices are made to ensure that they obtain right choice of wood sawdust and matrix. The ratio of wood fiber to total matrix weight as well as determine the formation methods at this stage.
  • The wood sawdust in the right grain size is obtained and the plastic, either virgin or recycled and processed using the maleic anhydride. The coupling agent is implemented in minimal amounts such that the plastic to wood fiber ratio is 50:50 with a coupling agent of 10% weight.
  • The blend is made to go through the experiment equipment known as the extruder. The product is passed through extremely high temperatures.
  • Several strength and structure tests are carried out to ensure that the final product yields the required rheological and mechanical properties as desired by the designer.
  • The coupling agent used in the experiment may be used on the wood fiber and polymer in the polymer formation process by injection molding, extrusion, or the transfer molding processes. The results and discussion section demonstrates these results correctly.

Wood Sawdust and Plastic Blend Compatibilizer

The blend concentration for the experiment was obtained as,

When the tensile tests were done using the testing machine, there was an average of five specimens are taken into consideration. The results are plotted with the stress-strain curve. Some of the errors are human errors and mechanical errors during testing and machine or equipment faults. The wear and tear cause the mechanical failures. The automated tests are the tensile test, flexural tests, and impact tests. Some of the polymer blends are miscible while others are immiscible. The immiscible ones tend to have unstable thermodynamics which affects the mechanical mixing. For the immiscible blends, surfactants or emulsifiers are added as the coupling agents. The coupling agents enable the dispersion of one phase and help improve the stability of the system.

Figure 2 injection method

The tensile test results were obtained as,

The experimental values of the wood plastic components with the maleic anhydride compatibilizer and virgin plastic matter,


In a nutshell, the two components, wood sawdust, and plastics have their individual and independent structural abilities. It is crucial that when they are blended using the methods described in the methodology, the product exhibits higher stiffness and strength levels. The mechanical properties of the new product or blends are better than for the different individual components. When the elements are not bound by a maleic anhydride compatibilizer, they tend to have lines of weaknesses, and the product may not last long as it has a higher water absorption rate. The use of the anhydride in it vaporized form enables the immiscible matter to blend and form a sturdy structure.


Achmad, C., Mujtahid, K., Al-Zahrani, S. & Mansour, N. A.-O., 2014. Rheological and mechanical properties of polypropylene calcium carbonate nanocomposites prepared from masterbatch. Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials, 29(5), pp. 593-622.

Arun, S. et al., 2017. Maleic anhydride grafted linear low?density polyethylene/waste paper powder composites with superior mechanical behavior. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 134(31), pp. 45-68.

Badrina, D. et al., 2015. Morphological, mechanical, and physical properties of composites made with wood flour?reinforced polypropylene/recycled poly(ethylene terephthalate) blends. Polymer Composites, 38(8), pp. 1749-1755.

Behravesh, A. H. & Jam, N. J., 2009. The challenge to the production of fine wood-plastic injection molded composites. Journal of reinforced plastics and composites, Volume 28, pp. 73-82.

Chatree, H., Thanate, R. & Wiriya, T., 2016. Long-term water absorption and dimensional stability of composites from recycled polypropylene and rubberwood flour. Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials, 29(1), p. 74.

Irina, T. et al., 2017. Characterization of wood plastic composites manufactured from recycled plastic blends, Composite Structures, 10.1016/j.compstruct.2016.11.073, Volume 161, pp. 469-476.

Irina, T., Timo, K., Kimmo, R. & Ari, P., 2016. Characterization of plastic blends made from mixed plastics waste of different sources. Waste Management & Research, 10.1177/0734242X16678066, 35(2), pp. 200-206.

Musa, G., Gökhan, Ç. & Hüseyin, E., 2015. Utilization of renewable filler from lichen in low-density polyethylene. Polymer Composites, 38(2), pp. 389-395.

Pascal, K., Bezubic, B., Rueda, P. & Jiang, H., 2003. Mechanical properties of polyvinyl chloride wood flour or glass fiber hybrid composites. Journal of vinyl and additive technology, Volume 9, pp. 138-145.

Saeed, K. N., Elham, H. & Mehdi, T., 2006. Mechanical properties of composites from sawdust and recycled plastics. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 100(5), pp.

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