Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Engineering (ME)


Chemical Engineering


Dr. J.W. Hodgins


An experimental investigation of graft copolymerization of styrene in wood was performed utilizing (1) Cobalt-60 radiation initiation, 2) impregnating solutions of styrene, methanol and water and (3) heat during the irradiation period. It was found that heating did not increase the grafting efficiency of the system. The grafting process was found to be dependent upon (1) the method of impregnation, (2) the density of the wood and (3) the amount of swelling agents in the impregnating solution. Wood treated with styrene and swelling agents was weakened in all mechanical properties except the maximum crushing strength and properties associated with compression. In genaral, wood treated with pure styrene was strengthened. It is felt that the use of radiation in the formation of wood-plastic composites is commercially unjustified.

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