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Dimensional stability of cement-bonded composite boards made from rattan cane particles

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Laboratory-type 50-mm-thick cement-bonded particleboards were made from particles derived from rattan cane (Laccosperma secundiflorum) at three rattan to cement weight ratios (10:90, 15:85, 20:80), and two particle sizes (those retained on a 600 μm sieve and a 50:50 mixture of particles retained on 850 μm and 1.2 mm sieves). After board manufacture, which excluded pressing, ASTM test procedures were employed to obtain the water resistance properties, i.e., water absorption (WA) and thickness swelling (TS). Mean WA (after 2 and 24 h of immersion in cold water) ranged between 2.2 and 25.1%, and 3.8 and 28.6%, respectively. The corresponding mean TS values were 0.2 and 1.4%, and 0.6 and 1.7%, respectively. Analysis of variance showed that the rattan/cement mixing ratio, rattan particle size and the interaction of both variables had a significant effect on water absorption, but no significant effect on thickness swelling of the boards. Smaller rattan particle size (600 μm) and lower rattan content (10%) provided a better performance, in terms of water absorption. Also, while highly significant (P < 0.05) simple linear relationships were observed between water absorption and thickness swelling at 2 and 24 h, and between water absorption and board density, the relationship between thickness swelling and board density was not significantly correlated. The relatively low water absorption capacity of the boards suggests that they can be employed in outdoor situations, while the relatively low TS values show that the experimental boards were dimensionally stable.


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