Thursday, November 28, 2019

Injection-molding wood powder for sustainable fabrication

Incorporating wood into industrial applications requires effective processing

methods. Wood products are generally shaped by cutting processes because the deformability of wood is inferior to that of metals and plastics.

 Therefore, much of the original material is turned into waste chips or powder during the cutting process.
Shohei Kajikawa and colleagues at The University of Electro-Communications and Kyoto University developed injection molding of wood powder with sucrose, which is a natural binder, for fabricating products based on natural resources effectively.
In the molding process, the binder plasticizes upon heating and the material, which is composed of the wood particles and the binder, flows due to the deformation of the binder and the slip of the particles. The binder solidifies between the particles upon cooling, and then the material is self-bonded. Fluidity of the material is important for improving moldability, and changes drastically with molding conditions, such as temperature and binder content. Therefore, effects of added sucrose on the moldability of the wood powder were investigated, the molding conditions were optimized by thermal analysis, capillary flow test and injection molding.