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Content archived on 2024-05-07

NON-TOXIC AMINOPLASTIC ADHESIVE FOR MEDIUM DENSITY FIBREBOARD AND NEW APPLICATION PANEL PRODUCTS OF IMPROVED WEATHER AND BIOLOGICAL RESISTANCE

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The annual production of particleboard and medium density fidreboard in the EU amounts to some 38 million Mexp3, mostly bonded with formaldehyde based aminoplastic adhesive. As the adhesives cost from 20 to 30 percent of the final product cost, they are crucial in determining profitability a highly competitive industry. Recent concerns about the effect of formaldehyde on health are posing limitations to conventional formaldehyde based aminoplastic adhesive systems that emit formaldehyde during use, contributing to indoor air pollution. Reduction of the formaldehyde content of these adhesives in order to reduce the formaldehyde emission levels of the boards has severely impaired their properties, inparticular their water resistance. Alternative adhesive routes proposed were not able to solve the problems of health risk, high production cost and impaired board performance. In parallel, another problem of wood based panels has been always their poor preservation. A technology was recently developed to solve this problem by the combination of aminoplastic adhesive, a special hardener and a wood preservative. The boards produced have an increased (40 percent) weather resistance while the level of formaldehyde emission is kept very low. Furthermore, by coupling a wood preservative with the adhesive the durability is also improved in terms of biological resistance. This allows the use of the panels for new exterior applications, in particular those where ground contact is required. The technology is currently being evaluated with pilot scale trial and feasibility studies. While lab scale tests were based on particular particleboard production, efforts of the pilot scale trials focused into adapting and optimizing the formulation for the production of weather and biological resistance to MDF and OSB as well. This will widen the applicability of the new technology and allow its introduction in the production of a variety of specialty products. A consortium of four European partner's co-ordinate developed the technology by ARI LTD, within the framework of the Agriculture and Fisheries program, with financial support from DG XII of the European Commission.

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