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Dimensional Stability Properties of Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) from Treated Oil Palm (Elaeis guineensis) Empty Fruit Bunches (EFB) Fibres

DOI: 10.4236/ojcm.2016.64009, PP. 91-99

Keywords: Empty Fruit Bunch, Sodium Hydroxide, Acetic Acid, Dimensional Stability, Thickness Swelling, Water Absorption

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The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of pre-treatments by using sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and acetic acid on oil palm Empty Fruit Bunch (EFB) fibres for the production of Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF). The EFB fibres were treated with chemicals in the concentration range of 0.2%, 0.4%, 0.6% and 0.8% prior to refining. Single-homogenous layer MDF with 12 mm thickness and density of 720 kg/m3 was produced. Urea-Formaldehyde (UF) was applied at 10% loading (based on dry weight of dry fibres) as a binder. The physical properties (Water Absorption (WA) and Thickness Swelling (TS)) of the produced panels were tested according to European Standard, EN 622-5:2006. The results show that types of chemical used had greater effects than concentration on the dimensional stability of the MDF. EFB fibres treated with acetic acid produced MDF with better dimensional stability compared to the MDF NaOH treated fibres. High concentration of NaOH produced poor dimensional stability in the panels.


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