Influence of weathering on the biological ageing / durability of wood plastic composites (WPC)
The possible service life of Wood Polymer Composites (WPC) is the focus of a new research project of the University of Göttingen and the SKZ (Das Kunststoff-Zentrum in Würzburg). WPC are often used for the exterior design of houses and gardens, for example in fencing or decking. The aim of the project is to develop test methods to better predict the biological deterioration of the material under certain conditions. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) will fund the project for two and a half years with a total of around 465,000 euros.
Moisture, solar radiation, temperature and microorganisms - all these factors influence the service life of WPC products. However, the exact ageing mechanisms have not yet been adequately assessed by laboratory tests. In order to gain a better understanding of the ageing of WPC, researchers now want to determine the start time, causes and course of biological ageing and develop an applicable model from the data.
The results should help companies in the WPC industry to better understand the biological aging of their products and materials and to more accurately predict the time of the biological alteration of the material. The development of a suitable test procedure could in future form a basis for determining guarantee periods, liability risks and regression claims related to insurance. The project is supported by more than 15 industry partners.