Wood based PLA and PP composites: Effect of fibre type and matrix polymer on fibre morphology, dispersion and composite properties

Heidi Peltola (Corresponding Author), Elina Pääkkönen, Petri Jetsu, Sabine Heinemann

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73 Citations (Scopus)


This study presents a comparison of the effect of various wood fibre types in polylactic acid and polypropylene composites produced by melt processing. The study also reveals the reinforcing effect of pelletised wood fibres compared to conventionally used wood flour or refined fibres. Composites containing 30 wt.% of chemical pulps, thermomechanical pulp and wood flour were produced by compounding and injection moulding. Fibre morphologies were analysed before and after melt processing. The dispersion of the fibres and mechanical performance of the composites were also investigated. Fibre length was reduced during melt processing steps, reduction being higher with longer fibres. Wood fibres provided clearly higher plastic reinforcement than wood flour. Comparing the wood fibre types, TMP fibres provided the highest improvement in mechanical properties in polylactic acid composites with uniform fibre dispersion. In polypropylene composites, fibre selection is not as crucial.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-22
Number of pages10
JournalComposites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed



  • Wood
  • fibres
  • thermoplastic resin
  • mechanical properties

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