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Physical and mechanical properties of medium density fibreboards from bamboo and tallow wood fibres

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Chinese tallow tree is an invasive and noxious species throughout the southern USA. It is inferior for many wood-processing applications. However, it may be acceptable when mixed with bamboo fibre for medium density fibreboard (MDF). The objective of this study was to investigate the physical and mechanical characteristics of MDF manufactured from three Honduran bamboo species (Dendrocalamus aspera, Bambusa arundinacea and Guadua angustifolia), Chinese tallow tree wood (Sapium sebiferum), or a mixture bamboo and tallow fibres (mixed) bonded with urea formaldehyde resin. Experimental results showed that modulus of rupture (MOR) and modulus of elasticity (MOE) of bamboo/tallow mixed fibreboard is favourable. B. arundinacea exhibited the best performance in both bamboo fibreboards and mixed fibreboards for MOR, MOE and internal bond (IB) strength, with the expectation of MOR of the mixed fibreboard. The results also showed that the MOR and MOE of mixed fibreboard were lower than that of bamboo fibreboard and higher than that of tallow fibreboard. The results showed MOR, MOE and IB strength of the boards had a linear relation with an increase in the compaction ratio. There were no significant differences in water absorption, thickness swelling and linear expansion between the bamboo and mixed MDF. This study indicated that bamboo fibre can be a viable alternative to wood fibres for MDF, particularly when mixed with tallow wood.


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