Title:
Composite siding
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A composite siding comprising a binder and a wood-based filler. The composite siding is preferably produced by a pultrusion process and exhibits great dimensional stability, aging resistance to damage characteristics while maintaining high product stiffness and strength.



Inventors:
Neogi, Amar N. (Kenmore, WA, US)
Wagner, Richard E. (Auburn, WA, US)
Dimakis, Alkiviadis G. (Federal Way, WA, US)
Ludwig Jr., Null Furtner (Tacoma, WA, US)
Schlehofer, Richard J. (Federal Way, WA, US)
Application Number:
10/187194
Publication Date:
01/01/2004
Filing Date:
06/28/2002
Assignee:
NEOGI AMAR N.
WAGNER RICHARD E.
DIMAKIS ALKIVIADIS G.
FURTNER LUDWIG
SCHLEHOFER RICHARD J.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B29C70/52; (IPC1-7): D04H1/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
THOMPSON, CAMIE S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WEYERHAEUSER COMPANY (FEDERAL WAY, WA, US)
Claims:

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:



1. A composite siding comprising a binder and the wood filler having a thermal coefficient of expansion along the length of 2×10−6 to 9×10−6 in./in./° F.

2. The product of claim 1, wherein said coefficient of expansion along the length is 6×10−6 to 8×10−6 in./in./° F.

3. The product of claim 1, having a linear expansion along the width thereof of 0.005 to 0.015 in. for a product having an 8 in. width in ⅜ in. material.

4. The product of claim 3, wherein said linear expansion along said width is about {fraction (1/64)} in.

5. The product of claim 1, wherein said product has a thickness swell of from 0.005 in. to 0.015 in. for a ⅜ in. material.

6. The product of claim 5, wherein said thickness swell is less than 3% of the thickness of ⅜ in. material.

7. The product of claim 1, wherein the sag between the supports ranges from 0.005 in. to 0.035 in. in a 24 in. span between studs.

8. The product of claim 7, wherein said sag between supports is less than 0.035 in.

9. The product of claim 1, wherein the structural degradation due to hygrothermal cycling results in performance from 70% to 100% of the unconditioned (50% relative humidity, 70° F.) values.

10. The product of claim 9, wherein said structural degradation is from 85% to 90% of the unconditioned (50% relative humidity, 70° F.) value.

11. The product of claim 1, wherein the physical change because of hygrothermal cycling is from 1% to 15% of the maximum residual swell.

12. The product of claim 11, wherein said physical change is from 1% to 5% of the maximum residual swell.

13. The product of claim 1, wherein the physical change due to hygrothermal cycling results in little or no checking, erosion, flaking, fiber raising and wherein the adhesion is {fraction (1/16)} to {fraction (3/16)} in. of coating being picked up.

14. The product of claim 1, wherein said adhesion is {fraction (1/16)} in. to ⅛ in. of coating being picked up.

15. The product of claim 1, wherein the permeability of the substrate is from 0.2 to 0.8 perms.

16. The product of claim 15, wherein said permeability is from 0.2 to 0.4 perms.

17. The product of claim 1, wherein the water absorption in 24 hours is from 3% to 15% by weight.

18. The product of claim 17, wherein said water absorption in 24 hours is from 5% to 10% by weight.

19. The product of claim 1, wherein the thickness swell due to water absorption over 24 hours is from 2% to 8%.

20. The product of claim 19, where said thickness swell is less than about 3%.

21. The product of claim 1, wherein the surface absorption (Cobb ring) is from 4 to 300 g/100 sq. in.

22. The product of claim 21, wherein said surface water absorption is from 5 to 10 g/100 sq. in.

23. The product of claim 1, wherein the ignition temperature ranges from 400° to 800° F.

24. The product of claim 23, wherein the ignition temperature is greater than 550° F.

25. The product of claim 1, wherein the hardness ranges from 200 to 1200 lbs.

26. The product of claim 25, wherein the hardness ranges from 300 to 500 lbs.

27. The product of claim 1, wherein the index of resistance to impact is 5-10 in.

28. The product of claim 27 wherein the resistance to impact is 7-9 in.

29. The product of claim 1, wherein the nailhead pull through ranges from 150 to 400 lbs.

30. The product of claim 29, wherein the nailhead pull through is about 170 to 190 lbs.

31. The product of claim 1, wherein the lateral nail resistance along the strong direction is about 150 to 300 lbs.

32. The product of claim 1, wherein the product stiffness (EI) ranges from 9150 to 68,500 lbs.-in.2/foot of width.

33. The product of claim 32, wherein the product stiffness (EI) ranges from 15,500 to 36,900 lbs.-in.2/foot of width.

34. The product of claim 1, wherein the product bending strength (M) ranges from 49 to 190 foot-lbs./foot of width.

35. The product of claim 34, wherein the product bending strength ranges from 80 to 165 foot-lbs./foot of width.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to composite siding and more particularly to composite siding comprising wood fiber in a polymeric binder.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Composite products comprising a binding agent such as a polymer or other extrudable plastic into which is incorporated a filler have been produced by both an extrusion and a pultrusion process. An example of existing extrusion processes are described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,169,589 to Francoeur et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,204,045 to Courval et al. and U.S. Pat. No. 5,169,587 to Courval. The pultrusion process is known in the art and comprises the extrusion of the composite material through a die while simultaneously pulling the thus extruded material in its longitudinal direction to provide polymer and filler orientation to a desired degree. An example of an existing pultrusion process is disclosed in PCT Application WO 01/45915A1, published Jun. 28, 2001. Pultrusion processes have been used to make a variety of different materials; however, none have been employed to produce a composite siding composed of a binding agent and wood fiber that meets the high standards of the building industry.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] The present invention therefore provides a composite siding comprising a binder and a wood filler. Preferably, the wood filler comprises wood flour or sawdust. The wood siding has superior conventional characteristics, for example stability, weather aging, combustibility characteristics, and resistance to damage in use set forth in Table 1 below while maintaining high product stiffness and product strength.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0004] The foregoing aspects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will become more readily appreciated as the same become better understood by reference to the following detailed description, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

[0005] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a piece of composite siding having the characteristics set forth herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0006] The composite siding of the present invention comprise a binding agent and a filler that is extruded and preferably lengthened using a pultrusion process. The filler and binding agent are placed in a feeder, which in turn feeds a predetermined volume of filler and binding agent into a melt extruder. The filler and the binding agent are mixed in the melt extruder to form a feed stock as is well known to those of ordinary skill in the art. As shown in FIG. 1, the feedstock then passes to an extruder and is extruded through a die 14 to produce a product 10 of composite material. While being extruded, the composite material is grasped by a mechanical clamp 16 or other pulling means and pulled in the longitudinal direction of extrusion. This orients the polymeric and wood fiber to produce a composite wood-like siding product.

[0007] The filler can be a natural fiber such as wood and agricultural fibers such as hemp, flax, straw or wheat; a synthetic fiber such as nylon, polyethylene terephthalate, glass or polypropylene fiber with a polyethylene matrix. The filler can also be a mineral based filler such as slate, talc, vermiculite, mica or nanoclay. Combinations of fillers may also be used. In a presently preferred embodiment, the filler is a wood fiber in the form of sawdust wood flour, wood particles or pulp. All types of bleached or unbleached pulp produced by any of the conventional pulping processes may be employed. In addition, the pulp may be cross-linked or otherwise bleached in ways known in the art. The most preferred wood fiber is wood flour, processed by grinding planer shavings, chips and sawdust, having a mesh in the range of 10 to 300, and more preferably in the range 10 to 150. In the presently preferred embodiment filler has a mesh size of 60.

[0008] The binding agent is a polymer or other suitable extrudable polymer, such as polypropylene, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride or other known extrudable polymer. It may be virgin or recycled polymer. The binding agent may form approximately 40% to 80% by weight of feedstock 20, and more preferably from 60% to 80% by weight. The balance of the feedstock comprises the filler.

[0009] Additives to improve material properties or to enhance the production process may also be added, for example, lubricants, Ultra Violet radiation stabilizers, and anti-bacterials.

[0010] All of the components, i.e., filler, binding agent and additives may be combined prior to extrusion by compounding into pellet form or by pre-mixing.

[0011] The pultrusion process is the preferred method for producing the siding of the present invention, although conventional extrusion processes may be employed. The pultrusion process produces a highly oriented polymer profile. The resultant composite material, produced by this process, generally has a higher tensile and flexural strength and modulus than the extrudate. In the presently preferred embodiment an oriented product of composite material, formed with a wood-fiber concentrate filler may be produced in standard widths of 2 inches, 3 inches or 6 inches (5.08cm, 7.62cm or 15.24cm), or for that matter any other desired width producible by the pultrusion process.

[0012] FIG. 1 illustrates the oriented product 10 of composite material. Produced in the manner outlined above, the composite material may have striations 12 of filler, formed in a dispersion pattern with a wood-grain appearance. The resultant oriented product resembles soft wood siding and can be used in residential and commercial applications as such. Appropriate attaching means, such as a tongue and groove, or snap lock, can be incorporated in the die or subsequently tooled in to the oriented material to create a product that can be attached in overlapping relation like conventional siding. Surface treatment can also be applied to the oriented product for increasing the surface properties of the product, for example adding a protective coating, such as polyurethane, to protect the surface layer from scratching. Other coatings may be employed, for example, to enhance the paintability of the siding. Embossing means can be used to add texture or smoothness to the product surfaces.

[0013] By varying parameters of the pultrusion process, such as temperature, the pressure and die contours, properties of composite product can be changed. The properties of composite material can also be changed by varying amounts of the filler, and by changing the composition of the filler(s). These variations in processing parameters will affect the physical properties of composite product, such as colour, texture, electrical conductivity, and fire retardancy, and the other desired properties set forth below.

[0014] The oriented product of composite material can be manipulated in order to meet a manufacturer's specifications with regards to the final commercial application. Oriented product can be cut and shaped during the pultrusion process. In the presently preferred embodiment, composite material is extruded as oriented product of varying specifications, however it can also be extruded as a sheet for use in commercial applications other than siding.

[0015] Extrusion rates for the composite material will vary depending on various factors such as the particular binders and fillers selected, the degree of reduction, and the cross-sectional area of the extruded strip or column. Extrusion rates are however rather slow and rates on the order of six inches per minute (6 in./min.) to three feet per minute (3 ft./min) are not atypical.

[0016] As stated above, the composite material may also be drawn through a die, or simultaneously pushed (extruded) and drawn through a die by conventional pultrusion processes. One manner of drawing the composite material through a die is to initially commence by extrusion, as discussed above. Once an end of the oriented product begins to emerge from the die, the end may be grasped, such as by a mechanical clamp and pulled. The pulling may be done with no further extrusion force being applied to yield an oriented end product 10. Pulling rates of up to 14 ft./min. (fourteen feet per minute) have been achieved. Pulling rates of 20 ft./min. (twenty feet per minute) are entirely feasible.

[0017] The properties of the oriented end product produced by drawing have properties that are different from those produced by extrusion alone. By way of example, a starting billet formed by combining a wood fiber-plastic concentrate containing 30% by weight wood particles of about 60 mesh size and 70% by weight virgin polypropylene. This combination yields a composition having a specific gravity of 0.51 that is much lower than expected without the introduction of air voids. The volume ratio of wood, polypropylene and air in the composition is 11%, 40% and 49%, respectively. The resulting combination was heated and extruded to form the billet.

[0018] The billet is of rectangular cross-section measuring about one inch by five inches. The billet is heated in an oven to about 150° C. (i.e., close to but below, the melting point of polypropylene which is about 160° C.) and is transferred to a pressure chamber and initially forced through a die. The extruded material is then grasped using the clamp and drawn at a rate of about four feet per minute. Once it is entirely drawn through the die 38, it is allowed to cool into the oriented end product. The draw ratio (i.e., the initial cross-sectional area divided by the final cross-sectional area) is about 8.

[0019] The oriented end product bears a remarkable similarity both in look and in feel to wood. The oriented end product is diminished in density by about half compared to the starting billet. The density of the oriented end product is about 0.510 g/cc (grams per cubic centimeter) compared to a density of about 0.80 g/cc for the starting billet.

[0020] The oriented end product can be shaped as if it were wood and in planing and sawing behaves very much like wood, producing shavings remarkably like wood shavings and sawdust remarkably like wood sawdust. The oriented end product receives both nails and screws much like wood but without splitting.

[0021] In testing, the oriented end product is found to have a density and flexural strength not unlike wood and a modulus of elasticity equal to that of low density wood or ⅓ that of grade 2 lumber. Typical desired properties are set forth in the Table below. 1

Range of Values
CharacteristicMeasureTest Standard(for patent application)Target
MaintainsLinear expansionTemperature: ASTM1/32″ to 1/16″ in 8 ft3/64″ to 1/16″ in 8 ft
dimensional stabilityalong the lengthD696(0.07%) for 3/8 inlength, for 3/8″
(40° F. to 125° F.)Moisture: ASTMmaterialmaterial (40° F. to
(20% RH to 90% RH)D1037, SectionsThermal coef of125° F. temperature
107-110expansion (TCOE) =change)
2 × 10−6 to 9 × 10−6TCOE = 6 × 10−6 to
in/in/° F.8 × 10−6 in/in/° F.
Linear expansionTemperature: ASTM0.005″ to 0.015″ in 8″1/64″ in 8″ width, for
along the widthD1037 Sec 107-110in width or 3/8″3/8″ material
for samples prepmaterial
Moisture: ASTM
D1037, Sections 107-110
Thickness swellTemperature: ASTM0.00541 to 0.0 15″ forless than 3% for 3/8″
D1037 Sec 107-1103/8″ materialmaterial
for samples prep
Moisture: ASTM
D1037, Sections 107-110
Sag between supportsN/A0.005″ to 0.35″ in 24″Less than 0.0035″
span between studs(24″ stud c.c.
spacing)
Withstands WeatherFreeze-thaw cyclingICBO AC 174/70% to 100% of85-95% of
and Aging(structuralASIM Std D6662unconditioned valueunconditioned value
(low maintenance,degradation due to(50% relative(50% relative
does not fade overhygrothermalANSI Standard 135,humidity; 70° F.)humidity; 70° F.)
time, holds paintcycling)Section 4.2
well)Weatherability of1% to 15% max1-5% max residual
substrateresidual swellswell
(Physical change due
to hygrothermal
cycling)
Weatherability ofANSI Standard 135,No checking, erosion,No checking, erosion,
primed substrateSec 4.2flaking, fiber raising.flaking, fiber raising.
(Physical change dueAdhesion: 1/16″ toAdhesion: 1/16″ to
to hygrothermal3/16″ of coating1/8″ of coating
cycling)picked-uppicked-up
Permeability ofASTM Standard E960.2-08 perms.0.2 to 0.4 perms
substrate
Water absorption -ANSI Standard 1353% to 15% by weight5-10% by weight
24 hrsASTM Standard
D1037 Sec 163, 164
Thickness swell dueANSI Standard 1352% to 8%Less than 3%
to H2O absorption -ASTM Standard
24 hrsD1037 Sec 163, 164
Surface H2OASTM Standard4-300 g/100 in25-10 g 100 in2
absorption - CobbC473, Sec 82-87
ring
Non combustibleIgnition temperature:ASTM D1929400-800° F.Greater than 550° F.
Lowest air
temperature that will
cause self ignition
Resistant to DamageHardness: ResistanceASTM D143/ASTM200-1200 lbs300-500 lbs
in Useto indentations andD1037, section 68-73
wearANSI 135
Load req'd to press a
0.44″ dia. ball to a
depth of 0.222 in
Impact: Index ofASTM Standard5-10 in7-9 in
resistance to impact.D1037 Sec 91-95
Failure is reachedANSI Standard 135
when a visible
fracture occurs at the
bottom surface of the
specimen.
Nail-head pull-ANSI Standard 135150-400 lbs180 lbs
throughand ASTM Standard
D1037 Sec 54-60
Lateral nail resistanceANSI Standard 135150-300 lbs150-300 lbs
(along strongand ASTM Standard
direction)D1037 Sec 54-60
Can be carried in 16′Product stiffness, EIASTM Standard150-68,500 Ibs-15500-36900 lbs-
length as a plankD1037, Sec 11in2/ft of widthin2/ft of width
Capable of resisting
ladder and wind
loads with minimal
residual deflection
Can be carried in 16′Product bendingASTM Standard49-190 ft-lbs/ft of80-165 ft-lbs/ft of
length as a plankstrength, MD1037 Sec 155-158widthwidth
without breakingANSI Standard 135
Capable of resisting
ladder and wind
loads without
breaking

[0022] The measuring and testing methods used to evaluate the products of the present invention are set forth under the column labeled “Test Standard.” All standards are conventional ASTM or ANSI standards.

[0023] While the preferred embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described, it will be appreciated that various changes can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.