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Self-bonding characteristics of binderless kenaf core composites

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We investigated optimum self-bonding conditions of kenaf core composites manufactured by steam treatment, and discussed on the roles of cinnamic acids in the self-bonding mechanism. The presence of cinnamic acids in the kenaf core and its composites were analyzed by pyrolysis gas chromatography-mass spectrophotometry in the presence of tetramethyl ammonium hydroxide (TMAH/Py-GC-MS). The results showed that the optimum bonding properties of kenaf core composites were achieved under these conditions: steam pressure of 0.8–1.0 MPa and pressing time of 10–15 min were able to provide shear strength of 0.40–0.42 MPa while having 2–5% of weight loss. Lignin analysis showed that steam-treated kenaf core composites had a lower proportion of syringyl- to guaiacyl-derived moieties and also cinnamic acids to guaiacyl-derived moieties than its native counterpart. The results indicated that some parts of the ester-linked cinnamic acids were also cleaved due to the degradation of hemicelluloses and lignin during steam treatment. Based on these results, it was concluded that in addition to three main components, the cinnamic acid was also suggested to participate in the self-bonding mechanism of non-wood lignocellulosic binderless boards.

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The author thanks Kobe Steel Co., Ltd., Japan for supplying the porous metal and Matsushita Electric Works, Ltd., Japan for contributions of kenaf core.

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Correspondence to Ragil Widyorini.

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Widyorini, R., Higashihara, T., Xu, J. et al. Self-bonding characteristics of binderless kenaf core composites. Wood Sci Technol 39, 651–662 (2005).

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