Application of wood plastic materials in the furniture industry

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Wood-plastic composite (WPC) is a new type of composite material developed in recent years. It is light in weight, rigid, acid and alkali resistant, waterproof and insect proof, and environmentally friendly. It can be nailed, drilled, planed and sawn like wood. Gluing and painting, as well as thermoplastic processing and surface decoration printing, is currently widely used in construction materials, municipal facilities, packaging materials and other fields. In addition to the above advantages, its feel is very similar to wood, so it is considered that the application in the field of furniture has great potential. However, the current application of wood-plastic materials in the furniture industry is still not much, what is the cause of this phenomenon? This paper explores this issue from the aspects of material properties and consumers.

First, the limiting factors of the application of wood-plastic materials in the furniture industry

Production method

At present, the production of wood-plastic materials mainly adopts extrusion molding, that is, the wood powder and the molten plastic are mixed and extruded into the die holes to obtain various profiles and plates, and the growth rate of the profiles is much higher than that of the plates. In order to reduce the amount of raw materials, companies use micro-foaming technology to reduce the density of materials and produce fine through-holes in the profiles through mold technology. The surface can be decorated and protected by painting or ink printing technology. The printing technology can not only obtain very realistic wood and stone texture, but also the surface scratching within a certain range will not have a great impact on the appearance due to the penetration of the ink into the material. . The production method of wood plastic materials has the following restrictions on furniture design and manufacture:

(1) Low degree of freedom of modeling

Due to the extrusion molding, wood-plastic materials can only be in a straight line state in most cases, and there is almost no curve shape and smooth transition. Therefore, it is difficult to reflect the affinity and comfort that the furniture should have, and the design for furniture production. Freedom is greatly reduced. From the current situation, the production method of developing furniture products with wood-plastic materials is closer to that of panel furniture, and the appearance is similar, but the cost is slightly higher and the market competitiveness is weak. Therefore, if the appearance does not have the main features of solid wood furniture, the development of wood-plastic furniture will be subject to great market resistance.

(2) High requirements for end face processing

The through hole of the profile can reduce the weight and save the material, which is the main reason for the low cost of the wood plastic material. However, the end face of the profile has low strength and is vulnerable to collision or local force damage, and the force node of the furniture is often at the end of the material, so special treatment is needed on the end to increase the strength and improve the strength. Cost and technical difficulty; In addition, consumers have higher requirements for details when they appreciate furniture. They require end face treatment not only to consider the force, but also to consider the aesthetics and changes of the form, the cleaning and comfort requirements of the use process, which are all wood plastic. The use of materials in the field of furniture presents difficulties.

(3) Limited connection method

At present, the common connection method of wood-plastic materials is through the joint of the tongue and socket, nailing and bonding. The joint of the tongue and mouth can well restrict the activities of the two dimensions between the materials, and the structure is reliable, but the use is limited to the combination of the faces, and it is difficult to be used as the support structure; the nailing requirement has sufficient anchor depth, and generally needs to be inside the hollow profile. Filling the wooden block, the production efficiency is low; the bonding has high requirements on the contact surface, the production is difficult to achieve automation, and the glue may flow to the surface to affect the appearance.

2. Surface quality

(1) Surface flatness is an important factor in the quality of furniture. Whether it is solid wood furniture or panel furniture, this requirement is very demanding. For wood-plastic materials, this requirement is particularly demanding. After the wood plastic material is extruded from the hole, local deformation will occur due to internal stress. Although the influence of environmental humidity on the wood plastic material is negligible, the large temperature difference will cause the warpage deformation of the flat sheet. At present, the problem that the office partition made of wood-plastic materials encountered at the time of export is the deformation of the product caused by the temperature difference between the place of origin and the country of export.

(2) The low surface hardness of wood-plastic materials is also an unfavorable factor affecting its application in the furniture industry. Furniture may be subject to various collisions during installation, transportation, and use. If the surface hardness of the furniture is low, surface defects may easily occur. The surface of the wood-plastic profile can be traced with a key or even a nail. Although the printed wood grain can serve as a cover, it is a big disadvantage as a furniture material.

(3) The surface texture of the material using the printed surface is regularly repeated by the diameter of the printing roller, which affects the realism when used in a large area. Some woods, such as eucalyptus, have a dotted pattern with no large patterned texture. There is no obvious artificial trace after repeated appearance, while rosewood and rosewood have obvious linear texture, and the same texture repeats. It feels very unnatural afterwards.

3. Consumer values

Nowadays, most consumers think that solid wood furniture is better than panel furniture. On the one hand, because of the large-scale mechanized production of panel furniture, its cost is reduced. The market price is far lower than that of solid wood furniture. On the other hand, due to the forest resource crisis, people are facing The value of wood is judged to increase, and the value of solid wood furniture is growing. In addition, in order to improve their own market value, some enterprises combine the precious wood and the extraordinary carving skills of the master craftsmen to produce several sets of treasures of the town shop, marking the sky-high price of hundreds of thousands and guiding consumers' value judgment. In contrast, the value of artificial boards such as MDF and plywood is obviously low. This value determines that it is difficult for PVC plastic furniture to squeeze into the furniture market with a large profit margin. Without large profits, new materials are difficult to enter the market.

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