Natural Fibers, Plastics and Composites


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Flax has the highest specific stiffness of all natural fibres. This is one of the advantages which made them base material for all our technologies at Bcomp.

Natural fibers | Treesearch

So far it has convinced many skiers, snowboarders, surfers and may become the main material for your We use natural fibres as a green replacement for conventional fibres. Bcomp technologies combine flax, jute and balsa with different matrixes. Learn more about composites, our materials Read more. Volume 35 , Issue 4. The full text of this article hosted at iucr. If you do not receive an email within 10 minutes, your email address may not be registered, and you may need to create a new Wiley Online Library account. If the address matches an existing account you will receive an email with instructions to retrieve your username.

Polymer Composites Volume 35, Issue 4.

Natural Fibers, Plastics and Composites

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The process may typically be performed in many conventional MDF or particleboard mills wherein fibres are refined and impregnated in blowline or similar facilities, pressed under heat, but, in the process of the invention, then slitted and chopped into pellets and, preferentially, the binder resin is a resin system which is compatible with the ultimate thermoplastic matrix of choice and processable in plastics machinery such as extrusion or injection moulding.

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Thus, it is feasible that conventional MDF or similar mills, or their products, could be adapted to produce fibre concentrates for plastics extrusion or injection moulding or other moulding processes, to make fibre-plastic composites. The binder formulation may also comprise other additives such as stabilisers, plasticisers, process aids, flame retardants, adhesion promoters, colorants, lubricants, anti-static agents, bioactives, liquid additives or solids difficult to introduce into the extruder or required at low levels overall and may also include reactive or functional resins such as epoxy resins.

The pressing of the intermediate sheets can be carried out to a range of sheet densities. The pelletisation of such sheets can be carried out by a variety of methods and a range of pellet lengths and dimensions and shapes can be used. Pre-patterning or imprinting of the sheets can be carried during or after sheet manufacture out to aid the subsequent pellet manufacture. The wood fibre pellets or granules or the product in other solid intermediate form may be used for feeding into thermoplastic processing equipment, such as extruders or injection moulders.

The fibre pellet may be added directly to a plastics injection moulding or extrusion machine, with added plastic pellets, substantially without damage to at least a major fraction of the fibre so that the fibre becomes dispersed through molten plastics material in the machine, to 1 ' form a plastics-fibre composite product.

A coupling agent between the fibres and plastics material in the machine may also be introduced into the plastics extrusion or moulding machine to mix with the fibres. Suitable as a coupling agent may be any one or more of an organic acid, maleated polyolefin, silane, silicate, titanate, chlorotriazine, anhydride, epoxide, isocyanate, acrylate, amide, imide, or abietic acid. Preferred coupling agents include any one or more of a maleated polyolefin including a maleic anhydride or acid, a silane, acrylic-modified polytetrafluoroethylene, or a chloroparafin.

The following description of experimental work further illustrates the invention, though is not to be considered in any way limiting and modifications can be made with respect to the invention by one of ordinary skill in the art. Nine binder solutions were prepared.

These are listed in Table 1. All the binder formulations were prepared by adding the components together and stirring with a high shear mixer at rpm for 2 minutes, and were then sprayed "fresh" onto the wood fibre, immediately after mixing or with a delay of less than an hour. The VAE powder was put into water suspension at MDF panels were made on a lab scale each as follows: Wood fibres with an initial moisture content of 8. The coated wood fibres were formed into a xmm mat, with 17Og of OD fibre per mat.

Ten MDF panel samples were made with the nine binder formulations prepared as described above plus one MDF panel without any resin on the fibre considered as a reference. A 50mm strip was cut in the middle of each panel for internal bond testing. All the samples were sieved to remove and measure the dust caused by the chopping step. The compound went through a four-strand die and was water-cooled before being pelletized. Low shear extrusions conditions were used to assess the ability of the MDF pellets to "release" the fibres into the polymer.

The extruder settings are outlined in Table 2 and Table 3. Table 4: Extrusion parameters The ten wood-plastic pellets samples were dried in an oven at 60 0 C overnight and then injection moulded using the tensile and flexural specimens mould cavities as in Table 5 below.

All the MDF pellets were fed easily through the extruder apart from the 'no binder' pellets. The pellet integrity was kept, and the fibres were fully released in the extruder under low shear extrusion conditions. Good mechanical properties of the relevant composites were observed. The influence of the thermoplastic:UF ratio on the MDF panels properties was investigated and the effect on the pelletization process of the panel into pellet. It is recognized within the MDF panel industry that a minimum cohesive strength of the panel is required to be able to manufacture it on a production line using a continuous hot press.

The panel leaves the press while still hot which could compromise the bonding with the presence of thermoplastic because it can still be soft at this temperature. As a result, the risk of blowing up the panel could be critical. Further, the adhesive must keep the fibres together during the pelletization otherwise large quantity of material would be wasted and a fire hazard and health issue would arise with the quantity of dust being generated.

These are listed in Table 6. All the formulations were prepared by adding the components together and stirring at rpm for 2 minutes, and were sprayed onto the wood fibre "fresh", immediately after mixing or with a delay less than an hour. MDF panels were made on a lab scale generally as described in example 1 above, with the formulations listed in Table 6.

All the samples were sieved to remove and measure the dust caused by the pelletizing process. Pellets were introduced into an extruder generally as described in example 1 above. Low shear extrusion conditions were used to assess the ability of the pellets to release the fibres into the polymer under gentle mixing. Some of the formulations were replicated without a coupling agent. A Proscan density profiler was used to measure the density profile of each sample tested for internal bond strength internal bond.

The average density of the sample was measured, as - ZO - well as the density profile through the cross-section of the specimen. All the other formulations had an internal bond value above 0. The UF resin modified by incorporating a thermoplastic polymer into it resulted in easier and better dispersion and distribution of the fibre pellets during extrusion compounding with plastic. Photos of the injection moulded tensile test specimen were taken to evaluate visually the dispersion of the MDF pellets into individual fibres into the plastic matrix after processing. The MDF panels were cut into 5x5mm square pellets with a pneumatic chopping machine.

A dust measurement was performed on the MDF wood pellets collected; the wood pellets were introduced into a sieving box with a 2mm mesh size and were shaken by hand for one minute. The particles going through the mesh were weighed and converted into a "dust percentage" of the original pellet mass. The dust was composed of wood fines and loose fibres. For safe handling, the MDF pellets need to have low residual dust. The use of a coupling agent is advantageous to achieve optimal mechanical properties when formulating natural fibre reinforced plastic.

The coupling agent bridges the fibre and plastic; it reacts with the fibre surface and is compatible with the plastic matrix thereby ensuring a good stress transfer between the two components. Both binder formulations produced an internal bond value above 0. Fibre dispersion. The MDI resin modified by incorporating a thermoplastic polymer into it resulted in easier and better dispersion and distribution of the fibre pellets during extrusion compounding with plastic. Extension state : BA. Effective date : Kind code of ref document : A1.

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Ref country code : HR. Ref country code : CZ. Ref country code : EE. Ref country code : SK. Ref country code : DK. Ref country code : SM. A process for producing a composite product comprising fibres of a lignocellulosic material or natural fibres and a plastics material utilises a liquid or particulate binder formulation comprising a thermoset resin and a thermoplastic polymer, monomer, or oligomer. A composite product is formed for use as or in forming a feedstock in plastics manufacture may be broken down under heat and mechanical shearing in a plastics extrusion machine to release the major fraction of the fibres, or the product may be useful as an intermediate product in other form or as an end product.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the invention to provide an improved, or at least an alternative process or method for producing a composite product comprising fibres of a lignocellulosic material or natural fibres and a plastics material, for use as or in forming a feedstock in plastics manufacture, or for use as an intermediate product in other form, or as an end product. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In broad terms in one aspect the invention comprises a process for producing a product comprising fibres of a lignocellulosic material or natural fibres, for use as or in forming a feedstock in plastics manufacture, which comprises applying to loose or divided fibres or fibre bundles, produced by mechanically or thermomechanically or chemo-thermomechanically or chemo-mechanically breaking down a lignocellulosic material, or natural fibres, a formulation comprising one or more thermoset polymers and one or more thermoplastic polymers, monomers, or oligomers, said formulation being in liquid or particulate form, and consolidating the fibres into a solid product.

In broad terms in another aspect the invention comprises a process for producing pellets or granules as herein defined comprising fibres of a lignocellulosic material or natural fibres, for use as a feedstock in plastics manufacture, which comprises: conveying loose or divided fibres or fibre bundles, produced by mechanically or thermomechanically or chemo-thermomechanically or chemo-mechanically breaking down a lignocellulosic material, or natural fibres, in a dry or wet air stream and applying to the fibres while so conveying the fibres a liquid binder formulation comprising urea formaldehyde UF and one or more thermoplastic polymers, monomers, or oligomers, or a low amount of urea formaldehyde, consolidating the fibres into a solid product, and breaking down the solid product to produce said pellets or granules.

In this embodiment the solid product may comprise or less than 6 parts, preferably between 0. Example 2 - thermoplastic modified UF resin with coupling agent The influence of the thermoplastic:UF ratio on the MDF panels properties was investigated and the effect on the pelletization process of the panel into pellet. Testing Density profile A Proscan density profiler was used to measure the density profile of each sample tested for internal bond strength internal bond. Fibre dispersion The UF resin modified by incorporating a thermoplastic polymer into it resulted in easier and better dispersion and distribution of the fibre pellets during extrusion compounding with plastic.

Dust generation The MDF panels were cut into 5x5mm square pellets with a pneumatic chopping machine. Maleic anhydride polypropylene. Wood fibre refined from radiata pine chips. Table 8: Composition of the different MDI-thermoplastic formulations Internal Bond Both binder formulations produced an internal bond value above 0. Fibre dispersion The MDI resin modified by incorporating a thermoplastic polymer into it resulted in easier and better dispersion and distribution of the fibre pellets during extrusion compounding with plastic.

A process for producing a product comprising fibres of a lignocellulosic material or natural fibres, for use as or in forming a feedstock in plastics manufacture, which comprises applying to loose or divided fibres or fibre bundles, produced by mechanically or thermomechanically or chemo-thermomechanically or chemo-mechanically breaking down a lignocellulosic material, or natural fibres, a liquid or particulate binder formulation comprising a thermoset resin and a thermoplastic polymer, monomer, or oligomer, and consolidating the fibres into a solid product which may be subsequently broken down to release a major fraction of the fibres.

A process according to claim 1 wherein the solid product may be broken down under heat and mechanical shearing in a plastics extrusion machine to release the major fraction of the fibres. A process according to claim 2 wherein the major fraction of the fibres may be broken down with reduced damage to the fibres relative to breaking down in the same way of an equivalent solid product produced by the process of claim 2 but for but an absence of the thermoplastic polymer, monomer, or oligomer in the binder formulation.

Natural Fibers, Plastics and Composites Natural Fibers, Plastics and Composites
Natural Fibers, Plastics and Composites Natural Fibers, Plastics and Composites
Natural Fibers, Plastics and Composites Natural Fibers, Plastics and Composites
Natural Fibers, Plastics and Composites Natural Fibers, Plastics and Composites
Natural Fibers, Plastics and Composites Natural Fibers, Plastics and Composites
Natural Fibers, Plastics and Composites Natural Fibers, Plastics and Composites
Natural Fibers, Plastics and Composites Natural Fibers, Plastics and Composites
Natural Fibers, Plastics and Composites Natural Fibers, Plastics and Composites

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