Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

New use for old wood

Wood is often the preferred material of use, whether for decorative or building purposes, and while it offers great versatility and ease of use, it is a limited resource. A new process now offers to convert wood waste into a viable product, without the need for additives, preservatives, resins or glues.
New use for old wood
Wood waste as a viable product such as chipboard and fibreboard often requires extensive use of coatings, preservatives, glues and resins. In many cases, these treatments use undesirable products such as arsenic, creosote and chlorophenol. Wood treated in this manner increases operational and disposal costs involved, as they are non-environmentally sound, toxic and require extensive energy usage in drying procedures.

A new treatment method for such wood constructs introduces a final product that contains no environmentally harmful or toxic content. The method produces a wood product taken from wood wastes that has a strength rating four times higher than similar woods produced by other methods.

The process involves a continuous break down of the cellular structures of the wood through a process of phase transfer of "intracellular water-stea". The wood waste that has been crushed, fractionated, heated and dampened is then thermo-chemically processed and pressed to produce a product with several advantages.

Two of the most attractive advantages are that the product has no environmental contaminants and a set of technical characteristics that are at least as good as, if not better than, standard chipboard products. One such advantage is that when tested for swelling under wet conditions, a 24 hour exposure showed a swelling of only 5%.

A further advantage of this composite material is that the manufacturing process can be adapted or changed to suit the processing needs of clients. The patented technology is ready for demonstration and testing and the developers are currently looking for manufacturing agreements.

Related information

Record Number: 80887 / Last updated on: 2005-09-18
Domain: Industrial Technologies