Despite a lot of research activities carried out in the field of Wood Plastic Compounds there is still a certain lack of interest in the commercial market for this new class of materials. BioStruct will help to overcome these barriers in the market success by the development of the next material generation, so-called enhanced Wood Plastic Composites eWPC, avoiding the most important drawbacks in conventional Wood Plastic Composite technology, like: low impact strength and brittleness, inconsistent material properties due to different fibre qualities, low temperature resistance, strong smell and high emission levels and instability in humid conditions. Nowadays polymers reinforced with natural fibres (mainly wood fibres) are predominantly based on petrochemical polymers, so called WPC (wood plastic compounds). They are mostly used in low-cost applications and the wood fibres are used as low-cost fillers. Recent R&D (see IP-SMEs Biocomp) introduced a new family of materials, so- called bio-composites, that replace petro-based polymers based on bio-polymers as matrix materials. These materials show mechanical and thermal properties that meet industrial requirements for some standard polymer applications, where mechanical strength is not a key issue, but they fulfil the environmental and sustainability concerns. Nevertheless the price of these bio-composites is in many cases too high for these standard applications, like housing or packaging trays. BioStruct will develop eWPC, the next generation of advanced wood-based composites that can be used in demanding, high-value technical applications. In its intelligent combination of innovative development approaches BioStruct will develop cost-efficient materials and processes for eWPC that will clear the way for these resource efficient and sustainable materials in demanding technical high-value applications, strengthening industrial partners along the value chain.
Fields of science
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Funding SchemeCP-IP - Large-scale integrating project