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Technical Report #19 - Chelsea Center for Recycling and Economic ...

Technical Report #19 - Chelsea Center for Recycling and Economic ...

LIST OF GRAPHSGraph 1:

LIST OF GRAPHSGraph 1: Cost of Virgin HDPE vs. High Quality Recycled HDPE.............................................. 16Graph 2: Cost of Virgin LDPE vs. High Quality Recycled LDPE............................................... 16Graph 3: Cost of Virgin Polypropylene vs. High Quality Recycled Polypropylene .................... 17Graphs 4-8: Effect of Plastic Type on Critical Properties in Polypropylene, Polyethylene, andGeneral Purpose Polystyrene with Different Wood Loading Levels ........................ 28LIST OF FIGURESFigure 1: Massachusetts Sawmill Locations, 1999....................................................................... 11Figure 2: Schematic of Extrusion Laminating Process for Recycled PET-Wood Fiber MatLaminate Structure........................................................................................................ 44ii

DEFINITIONSWood Fiber: A common term that means any form of wood particle suitable for composites.More specifically, it refers to small discreet particles of wood that are substantially longer thanthey are across. The ratio of length to diameter (called aspect ratio) is often greater than 10:1.Wood Flour: A common particulate form of wood often used as a functional filler in plastics.Most wood flour has an aspect ratio of about 2:1 to 4:1. Wood flour is available in many differentmesh sizes.Mesh Size: Refers to the size of an opening in a screen used to separate particulate material intodifferent sizes or “fractions.” For instance, a 40 mesh wood flour is small enough to pass througha screen made with 40 wires per inch. This is the same system used to separate grit sizes in sandpaper.Wood-plastic Composites: Sometimes called “woodfiber-plastic composites.” Any materialmade by any means containing both wood fibers or flour and thermoplastic materials, with orwithout any additional materials.Wood-filled Plastic: A major category of wood-plastic composites wherein wood flour or woodfiber is compounded with plastic. The resultant material is processed as a plastic on plasticsequipment.Compounding: The process of blending filler materials with molten plastic. When properly done,the filler material is completely dispersed and distributed throughout a continuous plastic matrixwith no filler-to-filler contact.Pelletizing: The process whereby hot compound is formed into pellets and cooled. The pelletscan be used for either injection molding or extrusion. Most plastics, whether compounds or not,are bought and sold in pelletized form.Wood-filled Plastic Compound: A pelletized form of a wood-filled plastic.Injection Molding: A process whereby plastic pellets or pelletized compounds are melted andforced under pressure into a cold mold. The plastic solidifies and takes the shape of the mold.Common examples include flower pots, computer cases, and plastic lawn furniture.Extrusion: A process whereby plastic pellets or pelletized compounds are melted and forced underpressure through a die to make a part of constant cross section and continuous length. Flatextrusions are called “sheet,” while parts with more complex cross sections are called “profiles.”Examples of extrusions include common drinking straws, plastic lawn edging, and plastic lumber.Direct Extrusion: The combined process of compounding and extrusion, eliminating the pelletizingstep, used most often in larger extrusions, like wood-filled plastic lumber or large volumesheet products.iii

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