Assessment of Color Degradation of Wood Plastic Composites in Outdoor Applications
Construction sector has consumed an important percentage of natural resources and generated much of the waste discharged into the environment in the last decades. This is the reason why the social consciousness has strongly grown towards sustainable development. Concepts such as recycle, reuse, reduce and energy saving are gaining importance in obtaining products under a clearly defined objective of a sustainable development. The revaluation of agroforestry waste has established itself as a solution to the problems associated with these wastes and, increasingly, is being incorporated into the manufacture of new materials. The Wood Plastic Composites (WPC’s) are an important group within these new sustainable building materials. WPC’s are obtained from recycled plastics and natural fibres waste. This kind of materials reduces the consumption of resources and the amount of waste. These materials have emerged to replace natural wood in some exterior applications, where the durability of natural wood is most damaged. Natural wood, in addition to the loss of color that suffers in exterior, has other disadvantages such as anisotropy and hygroscopicity. WPC's do not have these drawbacks. In this way, the WPC’s try to imitate the appearance of natural wood, with a good durability outdoors. Because of this, there are numerous companies that develop WPC products with different plastics and natural waste, with the aim of obtaining the best appearance and durability. In this paper, the color degradation of various WPC materials when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is evaluated. An artificial aging chamber with a fluorescent UV lamp and a colorimeter have been used to quantify the color parameters. Thus, conclusions are drawn on which plastics and residues achieve a minor alteration of color, an aspect highly appreciated in outdoor applications.
Ulrich Pont, Matthias Schuss and Ardeshir Mahdavi
J. Vercher et al., "Assessment of Color Degradation of Wood Plastic Composites in Outdoor Applications", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vol. 887, pp. 48-55, 2019