Using Cellulosic Biomass for Wood-Plastic Composites and Rubber Reinforcement
Forestry – Technology and Innovation
Advanced Materials & Bioproducts
Clean Growth Program
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University of Waterloo
The project will develop thin structured wood plastic composites (WPC) and sustainable rubber reinforcing fillers for the construction, automotive, and packaging applications using forestry-derived products and recycled plastics.
Using high levels of forestry based products and less synthetic fibres (fibreglass/carbon) in wood composites will improve sustainability and reduce landfill impacts.
Cellulosic materials in rubbers can reduce the use of carbon black and other rubber components in the production, which will improve the end-product performance, and ultimately provide both energy and cost savings.
Results of this research on the production of thin film/sheet WPC structures has unique potential to generate new technology.
Currently, thin structured and highly filled WPC structures are not commercially available. There is great potential for the production of thermoformable WPC films/sheets with numerous applications in the construction, packaging, and automotive industries.
The use of recycled plastic will reduce burden on landfills while reducing costs of production, and sustainable bio-products will provide new markets for Canada’s forestry sector.
Anticipated Environmental Benefits: The use of renewable fibers reduces synthetics in landfill; reuse of plastics reduces GHG impacts; air quality improved through materials efficiency in the automotive, packaging and construction industries.
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