Feasibility of Using Mountain Pine Beetle Attacked Wood to Produce Wood-Plastic Composites


  • Feng-Cheng Chang
  • Frank Lam
  • Karl R. Englund


Mountain pine beetle (MPB), wood-plastic composites (WPCs), lodgepole pine, high-density polyethylene (HDPE), extrusion


Previous work showed that mountain pine beetle (MPB) (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins) attacked wood has the potential as raw material for producing wood-plastic composites (WPCs). In the present study, MPB-WPC products were fabricated by extrusion, and the properties of density, flexural, compression, hardness, and nail and screw withdrawal were evaluated. Statistical analyses, including the analysis of variance, multiple comparisons, multiple regression, and the analysis of probability distribution, were conducted to understand the properties of products and the effect of formulations. Results of regression analysis showed significant relationships between the properties and the formulations. Mechanical properties of coupled products were significantly better than those of uncoupled products. The formulation also influenced the behavior and surface condition of the products. In general, greater wood content resulted in a slightly higher density but showed relatively less ductile behavior and failure at smaller deformations. The products with a higher content of high-density polyethylene showed better strength in all aspects, however, a relatively lower stiffness and larger deformation at failure also appeared. Because of the uniform quality of WPCs, the mean value of the properties can be used as a characteristic value for application.


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Research Contributions