Optimising resin consumption, pressing time and density of particleboard made of mixes of hardwood sawmill residue and custom flaked softwood

Wong, K 2012, Optimising resin consumption, pressing time and density of particleboard made of mixes of hardwood sawmill residue and custom flaked softwood, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Civil, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Optimising resin consumption, pressing time and density of particleboard made of mixes of hardwood sawmill residue and custom flaked softwood
Author(s) Wong, K
Year 2012
Abstract One of the greatest challenges of the forestry sector and the global wood industries is the need to address and overcome declining raw material supplies, to fully utilize available resources, and to take advantage of innovations in wood processing. A growing number of timber producers are facing raw material shortages and some wood processors are now operating below 50 percent of capacity. This problem is expected to worsen in the next several years.

A method to produce particleboard from hardwood sawmill residue has been investigated at RMIT University, Australia. This work has proven that a particleboard made in laboratory has acceptable mechanical properties and density profiles in accordance to the Australian Standard. However, this board product required a high resin consumption, and a higher board density, inhibiting ready acceptance by the industry.

The Ph.D research project presented here addressed this gap in knowledge and examined ways of optimising the new particleboard product. A feasibility and a cost benefit analysis was done to examine the elements of improvement needed. The research then focussed on examining the potential of optimising the board process parameters by using mixes of softwood and hardwood residue. Four series of experiments were carried out for this investigation. During the first and second series, it was revealed that mixes of hardwood and softwood would not improve board properties as expected. Analysis of the underlying reasons revealed that the observed reduction in strength is a result of over curing of hardwood particles when used in the surface layers. It was found that the acidic property of hardwood accelerates the UF resin curing which lead to uneven degree of curing throughout the board. The best configuration of hardwood and softwood throughout the board was found to be with softwood in the surface and hardwood in the core. After obtaining adequate hardwood/softwood configuration throughout the board, using the theory of experimental design, an experimental study was conducted to examine the effect of other processing parameters on the board properties. A process model was developed to predict board properties as a function of processing variables. A final optimised board which complies with the required properties of the AS/NZS standards and utilising up to 45% hardwood residue was developed through the research program. Outcomes would lead to a reduction of the demand for custom flaked hardwood used in particleboard by replacing them up to 45% by saw mill waste.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Civil, Environmental and Chemical Engineering
Keyword(s) Hardwood
Softwood
Experimental design
Sawmill residues
Particleboard properties
MOR of particleboard
MOE of particleboard
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Created: Fri, 29 Nov 2013, 10:20:34 EST by Denise Paciocco
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