Influence of culm age, particle size and board density on the performance of particleboard made from Ethiopian highland bamboo (Yushania alpina)
Journal of Bamboo and Rattan
Forest Products Utilization Research Centre, 2322 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Faculty of Forestry, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang Selangor, Malaysia; Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), 52109 Kepong, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Yushania alpina, one of the most widespread bamboo species in Ethiopia, was investigated for its suitability as a raw material for particleboard production. A total of 105 culms from three different age groups (1-, 2- and 3-year-old) were harvested from farmers' bamboo plantation in Ethiopia. Fine (0.5-1 mm) and coarse (1-2 mm) particle sizes from each age group were used for making single-layer particleboards at 600 and 750 kg/m3 board target density levels. Urea formaldehyde resin was used as a binder at the rate of 10 per cent of the oven dry weight of the particles. The particleboards produced were tested for mechanical properties and dimensional stability. Performance characteristics including bending strength (MOR), stiffness (MOE), internal bond (IB) strength, thickness swelling (TS) and water absorption (WA) were assessed. The results showed that culm age, particle size and board density significantly affected the internal bond strength, thickness swelling and water absorption properties, whereas culm age did not show significant effect on bending and stiffness properties. The results obtained in this study showed that 2-year-old culms can be successfully used as an alternative lignocellulosic raw material for the manufacture of general purpose particleboard, using relatively low resin content. © KFRI 2007.