Composite materials made up of thermoplastic resins and having wood as reinforcement materials are globally known as wood-plastic composites. If we neglect additives which are added to modify its properties (added in very small quantity) the major constituent are wood and resin. Wood based composites are produced by mixing wood particles or fibers in melted resin and then shaping it into appropriate shape by means of heat and pressure.
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As mentioned earlier, additive such as lubricants for easy processability, blowing agent to create foam structure, colorants, coupling agent to form good bond between wood and resin and UV stabilizers to extend service life are also added in some quantity.
On the basis of form of reinforcement they can be segmented as wood flour based and wood fiber based composites. Another major constituent is resin; widely used resins are polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE - HDPE, LDPE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polylactic acid (PLA).
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Its major growing application is in building products followed by automotive infrastructure, industrial and other consumer products. Products may be injection molded or extruded in continuous profiles. North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific are expected to show growing demand for wood-plastic composites, followed by RoW.
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