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Development of ultra-light foam-core fibreboard for furniture application

Abstract

Ultra-lightweight foam-core fibreboard with 19 mm thickness was produced with a novel one-step process using resinated wood fibres for the faces and expandable polystyrene (EPS) as core layer material. The aim of the current study was to investigate the panel properties produced with different EPS bead diameter (0.5, 1.5, and 2.5 mm) and surface layer thickness (1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 mm). The EPS bead diameter showed a significant effect on the properties of foam-core fibreboard. The most uniform foam with the smallest cell size and highest cell density was observed in panels with smaller EPS beads, which also resulted in a remarkable increase in bending strength and edge screw withdrawal resistance (SWR) of the foam-core panels. Increasing the surface layer thickness from 1 to 5 mm significantly raised the foam-core panels’ density from 220 to 460 kg/m3, respectively. The higher the panel density, the higher the bending properties and the face SWR. The physical properties (thickness swelling and water absorption) of foam-core panels were negatively influenced by thickening of the surface layers. In general, foam-core fibreboards made with smaller EPS beads (0.5 mm) and 3 mm surface layers (density of 340 kg/m3) showed excellent potential for furniture manufacturing due to their acceptable properties according to EN622-5/P1 while still having nearly 55% lower density compared to conventional fibreboard density (750 kg/m3).

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Acknowledgements

Saeed Khojasteh-Khosro wants to acknowledge the Leading House for research collaboration with partner institutions in South Asia and Iran in Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland for the financial support of this study (2019).

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Correspondence to Ali Shalbafan.

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Khojasteh-Khosro, S., Shalbafan, A. & Thoemen, H. Development of ultra-light foam-core fibreboard for furniture application. Eur. J. Wood Prod. 79, 1435–1449 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00107-021-01723-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00107-021-01723-0