Wood flour is finely pulverized wood that has a consistency fairly equal to sand or sawdust, but can vary considerably, with particles ranging in size from a fine powder to roughly the size of a grain of rice. Most wood flour manufacturers are able to create batches of wood flour that have the same consistency throughout. All high quality wood flour is made from hardwoods because of its durability and strength. Very low grade wood flour is occasionally made from sapless softwoods such as pine or fir. Wood flour is commonly used as a filler in thermosetting resins such as bakelite, and in linoleum floor coverings. Wood flour is also the main ingredient in wood/plastic composite building products such as decks and roofs. Prior to 1920, wood flour was used as the filler in ¼-inch thick Edison Diamond Discs.
Wood flour has found a use in plugging small through-wall holes in leaking main condenser (heat exchanger) tubes at electrical power generating stations via injecting small quantities of the wood flour into the cooling water supply lines. Some of the injected wood flour clogs the small holes while the remainder exits the station in a relatively environmentally benign fashion.
Large quantities of wood flour are frequently to be found in the waste from woodworking and furniture companies. An adaptive reuse to which this material can be directed is composting.
- Clemons, Craig M.,Caufield, Daniel F. 2005. In: Functional fillers for plastics. Weinheim : Wiley-VCH. pages 249-270.