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Property Enhancement of Wood-Rubber Composites by Microwave Treatment of Rubber Particles

Min Xu, Jian Li, Sheldon Q. Shi, Liping Cai


In this study, a microwave oven with a frequency of 2450 MHz was used for the surface modification of rubber particles. The samples were treated with five different output powers (160, 320, 480, 640, and 800 W) for six exposure times (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 min). The influence of the microwave treatment on rubber characteristics was analyzed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The wood-rubber composites were fabricated using 70% poplar particles and 30% rubber particles. Four regression equations, ie radiation time and power as functions of modulus of rupture, modulus of elasticity, internal bond, and thickness swelling, were developed and a nonlinear programing model was derived to obtain the optimum panel properties. The results from contact angle measurements and microscopic analysis indicated that the surface characteristics were changed after the microwave treatment, improving the mechanical properties of the wood-rubber composites.


Microwave treatment;rubber superficial characteristics;panel properties;nonlinear programing

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