Develop high-performance, low-density wood-plastic composites for outdoor use. This research will:
- Obtain improved weather and water resistance through the coating of wood particles;
- Inject an inflating agent so as to obtain low-density material;
- Produce formed plastic material containing 50% wood, which is resistant to humidity and with increased strength (modulus). In the second year, a lower-density material of the same type will be produced.
This project, on improved wood-plastic composites (PWC), involves research, development and the characterization of this new type of material. The feasibility of WPC manufactured using an injection process and having a cellular structure (foaming) was demonstrated. These products are light, versatile and recyclable, and are composed of recycled plastic and sawmill residues, giving them a high added value. Work was conducted to improve formulations and to assess the quality of the wood-plastic mixtures manufactured by extrusion on a cost/performance basis.