Mold susceptibility of rigid PVC/wood-flour composites.
Dawson-Andoh-B; Mutuana-LM; Harrison-J
J Vinyl Addit Technol 2004 Dec; 10(4):179-186
Rigid PVC/wood-flour composite lumber containing either hardwood (maple) or a softwood (southern pine) wood flour at different levels of wood-flour content was evaluated for susceptibility to fungal colonization and discoloration by using standard tests that mimicked exterior (ASTM G21) and interior (ASTM D3273) environments, respectively. In the exterior test protocol, although both types of PVC/wood-flour composite lumber exhibited fungal colonization and discoloration, the composites containing maple exhibited greater discoloration than those containing pine. Irrespective of wood species, fungal colonization and discoloration in the composite lumber were greater at the bottom faces where they were in constant contact with moisture. The wood content range (50-100 phr) used in this study showed no effect on extent of fungal colonization and discoloration. All composites showed no discoloration in the interior test protocol. Both optical microscopy and environmental scanning electron microscopy clearly demonstrated that wood flour particulates are not completely encapsulated by the PVC matrix, so that exposed wood flour in the surface crevices of the composite lumber may serve as points of moisture sorption and staging points for fungal colonization and discoloration.
Molds; Wood-products; Wood; Lumber-industry; Fungi; Fungicides; Environmental-factors; Wood-dusts; Microscopy; Microorganisms
Research Tools and Approaches: Exposure Assessment Methods
Journal of Vinyl and Additive Technology