Increasing density-related strengths of particleboards

23. November 2020

In 2018, the EPF member states produced approx. 31.3 million m³ of particleboard in Europe.

An important area for the use of chipboard is the furniture industry. There are various requirements posed to boards for use in the furniture industry (e.g., bending and transverse tensile strength as well as resistance of the surface to peeling-off). In recent years, the reduction of the density of particleboard used in furniture and interior design has become more and more the focus of interest of production, commercial trade and consumers. Reasons for a reduction in the density of particleboard are due to economic concerns (saving raw material costs, reducing transport and assembly costs), ecological aspects (saving resources) and ergonomic considerations (easier handling, improved functionality).

The subject of the new research project at the IHD is to increase the density-related strengths of particleboards and to simultaneously reduce the medium board density, while meeting the requirements. For that purpose, a new type of process for chip production is to be developed, taking into account the anatomy of the wood. By changing the cutting angle during chip production and the different strengths associated with the emerging varied fibre orientation in the chip, an optimised compression behaviour of the chips shall be achieved. The aim of the project is to design the chips during their production in such a way that the fibre orientation in the chip is not parallel to the longitudinal axis of the chip, but at an angle of up to 60°, in order to eliminate the fibre parallelism. Conventional alignment of the chips in the chip mat shall significantly reduce the fibre-load angle of the individual chips in the chip mat, increase the strength of the chip mat and thus reduce its deformability.

During the project, it will be investigated to what extent this modified method of chip production can increase the strength level of chipboards produced with such chips and how this will likewise reduce density.

The project, with the funding code 49MF200096, is co-funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy on the basis of a resolution taken by the Deutscher Bundestag.

Contact person an the IHD:
Tino Schulz