The influence of moisture on the mechanical properties of wood polymer composites

S. H. Huang, P. Cortes, W. J. Cantwell

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26 Scopus citations


The influence of absorbed moisture on the mechanical properties of Wood-Fiber Plastic Composites (WPCs) was investigated through flexural, compression, and fracture mechanics tests on samples removed from flat plates based on high density polyethylene (HDPE) reinforced with wood flour. The results show that the flexure modulus of WPCs with absorbed moisture decreases as the moisture content increases with the final value reaching 25% below the initial value. The presence of absorbed moisture in WPC composites reduces the compressive strength of the composite and the strength is degraded rapidly for samples containing more than 3% water. The associated stress-strain curves shows an increased non-linearity before maximum load in samples containing greater levels of exposure. It was found that the critical strain energy release rate of wood polymer composites with moisture content decreases by 40% over the range of water content.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)5386-5390
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Materials Science
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 2006


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