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

Risultati finali

Particleboard is an attractive wood derived construction material because it is based on a renewable resource and it does not depend on the use of expensive, high-grade timber. Recent technical and commercial developments mean that particleboard offers the construction market a competitive solution provided that adequate fire resistance properties are achieved. Under optimal laboratory conditions, trial boards, manufactured with this new fireproofing agent, were found to have improved resistance to fire and moisture properties. The waterproofing aspect is an additional advantage of this board because standard particleboards tend to gather moisture because of the excessive amounts of resin that constitute their manufacture. Our specially developed particleboard was found to be environmentally compatible, fireproof, and water resistant. However, after the first trials, the final characteristics indicated that probably this kind of board could not be used for loading bearing boards in humid conditions, but they could be used for internal uses. (Humid condition is equivalent to the risk class 2 of ENV 1995-1-1 Standard and it is characterized by a material moisture corresponding to a 20 degrees Celsius temperature and air relative humidity that only exceed the 85% during some weeks in a year. These boards are used in the design and construction of building structural elements, for example partition walls, floors, decks or I-beams). Versatility in the quantities of agent mixed allows the board to be suitable for a variety of safety standards. For example, adding a different percentage of fireproof agents in external and internal layer (25% and 15% respectively), an M1 board was obtained that was suitable to the Spanish Standards UNE 23721 and UNE 23727 (combustible but non flammable board). Through the application of different fireproof quantities in both layers, the total quantity of product is reduced, so it makes the board cheaper and improves the overall features of the board. Note that different fire safety standards might influence the application of this fireproofing agent from country to country, any future changes in fire-safety standards, and further testing of the product will be needed in order to meet these new specifications if appropriate. During the laboratory trials, two Urea-Melamine-Formaldehyde (UFM) resins with different solid content were used. This type of resin has been selected because of compatibility and water resistant characteristics. Due to excessive moisture of the chips, caused by the high quantity of resin that they need, the use of a resin with more solids content was decided. This fact gives sufficient information to the resins manufacture companies, about the behavior of the UFM resins with more solids content. So it would open the possibilities for manufacturing their own products up to companies, based on the knowledge acquired during the research carried out. The research undertaken is expected to benefit all manufactures of wood particleboards that do not have the technical or economic means to support independent research. The first results obtained were satisfied with the use of the UFM resin with 65% of solids content in a continuous line. This could implicate a commercial relation between two companies involved in this part of the project (a board manufacture and a resin manufacturer). The marketing of this new product benefits the companies involved and the consumer as well, because it is about an innovative product, suitable for it use in different places where the decrease of risks it is necessary, like schools, hospitals, jails or public buildings. This result gives important dates to continue with the research, so that in future, products with better quality decreasing the cost could be obtained.