The effect of compatibilizer on the properties of impact poly(propylene)-wood composites
The effect of two compatibilizers, polypropylene graft maleic anhydride (PPgMA) and ethylene vinyl alcohol (EvOH), on the physical properties of wood polymer composites were studied. The composites were prepared with pine wood and two different impact polypropylene polymers, where the polymers varied according to ethylene content. These compatibilizers, when used together and pre-reacted to create a joint compatiblizer of PPgMA and EvOH, significantly improved control over the repeatability of the physical properties tested, compared to when the compatibilizers were used individually. The impact values were slightly reduced, however the standard deviation of these values showed that the variation in the impact properties were significantly minimized when EvOH was also introduced. It appears that the joint compatiblizer provides better control over the hardness to impact balance of these composite materials and some of these physical properties were improved depending on the ratio between PPgMA and EvOH used, in the joint compatibilizer. Due to the difference in chemistry between PPgMA and EvOH, we expected PPgMA to interact more with the crystalline polypropylene matrix of the impact polymer and the EvOH with the amorphous, rubbery part and yield interesting results. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.