Wood strip surfaces (Aspen and Birch) and cellulose fibers (Birch, pulped paper fibers) were treated with azidosilane coupling agent, via immersion in methylene chloride and methanol solutions respectively, and then subsequently dried. Polypropylene films were compression molded to the wood surfaces and peel forces were measured. The treated cellulose fibers were suspended and mixed with polypropylene fibers in water, formed into thin sheets by wet forming, dried, and compression molded to melt the polypropylene.
Treated wood surfaces gave two to six times the dry peel force versus untreated wood surfaces. However, the wet peel force of treated wood degraded to that of untreated wood. The elongation, fail stress, and tensile energy absorption of treated molded sheets were all increased over the untreated fibers for both dry and wet testing; the wet-tested properties were especially enhanced by the silane treatment.