UBC Undergraduate Research

Wood plastic composites (WPCs) as an alternative to solid lumber Sidharta, Andre

Abstract

Wood Plastic Composite (WPC) market share has been growing rapidly in the last few decades. The composites are typically used in the commercial residence decking. Other than that, they could be used as rails, floorings, window and door frames and automotive interior. In Chapter 1 of this thesis paper, writer will discuss in detail the advantages and disadvantages that WPC offers to its customers as well as to homebuilders. In addition, there will also discussion on how to manufacture WPC, including the raw materials and the process itself. Lastly, we will analyze how WPC penetrates into the market and take over the traditional solid wood lumbers. Chapter 2 will provide an in depth discussion on the physical properties of WPC. There are three properties that will be discussed; thermal properties, mechanical properties and manufacturing properties. In thermal test, we will see how temperature affects the mechanical properties. Meanwhile, in the mechanical properties section, we will also learn how additional wood content could increase the strength of the final products. Furthermore, we will analyze how WPC wears the cutting tools compared to other wood products. Lastly, we will provide information on how WPC can hold fastener in place better than its competitors. One of the advantages that WPC possesses is the fact that it is biodegradable and recyclable. In Chapter 3 of this thesis, writer will provide an in depth discussion on the challenges in the recycling process and how the environmental factors affect the recycling of the composites. Finally, there will be a thorough summary on the thesis on Chapter 4. As well, writer will provide his personal thought regarding the future of WPC market share in North America.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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