Termite Resistant Properties of Wood and Natural Fiber Plastic Composites - AWPA E1 Test Data
Q Wu, T Shupe, J Curole, K Ragon, M Voitier, M Freeman, D Ring
This paper deals with resistance properties of wood plastic composites against Formosan Subterranean Termites (FSTs) based on the AWPA E1 test standard. Sixteen laboratory WPC formulations, four WPC commercial materials, and southern pine (Pinus sp.) wood control were tested for termite mortality, sample weight loss, and sample damage rating. The results show that FSTs did attack WPC products in the laboratory setting. The test was sensitive enough to demonstrate the effect of chemical treatment and type of surface (as-extruded exterior surface versus machined interior surface) on termite resistance. The type of plastics (e.g., HDPE vs PVC, and virgin vs recycled) and fibers (wood, bamboo, and bagasse) was less important, compared to wood fiber loading level and particle size. There was a large difference in damage mode and degree of damage from as-extruded exterior surface and machined interior surface of WPC. Commercial WPC was subjected to more termite attack from the exposed interior surfaces. An effective chemical treatment should prevent termite attack on both types of surfaces for WPC.
Keywords: plastics, wood, composites, termite, mortality, damage rating, weight loss