Effects of fungal biodegradation on structure-property relationships of medium density fibre board and hybrid polypropylene composite made from sugar-cane residue
Publication Name: International Wood Products Journal
This paper reports an in-depth comparative study on the effects of Trametes versicolor on sugar-cane residue polypropylene composite and medium density fibre board. The samples were subjected to the fungus at 25°C and 75% relative humidity either for 2 or 4 months. Mass, bending strength, elastic modulus, hardness, and equilibrium moisture content (EMC) of both products reduced, while water absorption and thickness swelling increased due to biodegradation. The rates of mass, bending strength, elastic modulus, hardness, and EMC reductions, and water absorption and thickness swelling increases in MDFs were far higher than those of the composites, indicating the lesser susceptibility of the latter samples. Elastic modulus of the composites and hardness of MDFs were more adversely affected under fungal attack, whereas hardness underwent higher rates of reduction in the composites, as compared to the other properties. Scanning electron microscopy was conducted to characterise the alterations in mechanical properties.