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Development of a durable, environmentally compatible, fire-proof and water resistant particle board

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Researching fire and water resistance of wood

Although particleboard is an attractive construction material, it has often been overlooked as it does not meet with fire safety standards. A new process designed to improve wood's resistance to fire, presents the opportunity to re-evaluate wood as a building material and may launch particleboard as a marketable product for the construction industry.

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Particleboard is an attractive component for building because they are both a renewable resource and cheap, as they do not require high grade timbers like redwoods, stinkwoods and oaks. Due to the high combustibility of woods and their susceptibility to warping, they have been considered as undesirable for construction purposes. However, a developing process technology indicates that when used, it not only improves particleboard's fire resistance, but its water resistance capacity too. The process uses two different Urea-Melamime-Formaldehyde resins, which were chosen because of their compatibility and water resistance qualities. So far, particleboards treated in this fashion have met certain European safety standards, the manufacturers also add, that by mixing different quantities of their resins, safety standards may be achieved from country to country. This makes it extremely flexible in that its resins can also be mixed, according to research, to meet any safety standards designed in the future. This versatility could implicate a commercial agreement between board and resin manufacturers. Safety standards within the construction industry have limited the types of materials suitable for construction. Wood has undergone particular attention, however, incorporating the developments provided by this process technology, particleboard may find its way back into the construction industry, as a suitable material for floors, walls, partitions I beams and even decks.

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