Laboratory methods for assessing the resistance of wood plastic composites to fungal attack.

IRG/WP 06-20340

J J Morrell

Wood plastic composites (WPC’s) have many attractive material features including dimensional stability and resistance to moisture, but the wood in these materials remains susceptible to fungal attack. Assessing WPC decay resistance in laboratory trials has proven difficult because the slow moisture sorption characteristics of this material do not allow for sufficient fungal attack over the traditional test periods. In this report, the previous work on WPC durability is reviewed and the characteristics of these materials that might influence durability are discussed in relation to how the test methodology might be improved to produce more meaningful test data.

Keywords: Wood plastic composites, fungal decay, soil block tests, agar block tests, moisture content

Conference: 06-06-18/22 Tromsoe, Norway

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