Properties of Particleboard Manufactured from Oil Palm Trunk Waste Using Polylactic Acid as a Natural Binder
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Particleboard from renewal agricultural residues or waste offers a significant effect toward ecological problem. However, hygroscopic nature of waste material contributes to a lower dimensional stability and lower strength properties in comparison to conventional particleboard. Therefore, the objective of this study was to convert oil palm waste, namely oil palm trunk, into particleboard with the addition of polylactic acid (PLA), a type of biodegradable thermoplastic, as a natural binder. Particleboard of oil palm trunk made with a target density of 0.8 g/cm3, at a pressing temperature of 180 °C, a pressing time of 20 min, and a pressure of 5 MPa was added with 10% of PLA. The PLA was added into different thickness particleboards, namely 5 mm, 10 mm, and 15 mm. The mechanical and physical properties of particleboards with the addition of PLA in comparison to binderless particleboards made from oil palm trunk were then evaluated. Thus, thermal degradation, spectroscopic characterization, crystallinity properties, and morphological properties of such types of boards were also examined. The mechanical properties, such as modulus of rupture and internal bond strength, and physical properties, such as thickness swelling and water absorption, had significantly improved with the addition of PLA compared to binderless particleboard. Particleboard with the addition of PLA exhibited satisfactory mechanical properties based on Japanese Industrial Standard for Particleboard Type 8. The thermal stability, spectroscopic characterization, crystallinity, and morphological results indicated that the addition of PLA improved the basic properties of the particleboards made of oil palm trunk.
KeywordsWaste Oil palm trunk Particleboard Polylactic acid Mechanical
The authors express their gratitude to The Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia for MyBrain15 scholarship to Mohana Baskaran. Partial funding for this project provided by The Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (304/PTEKIND/650612/J118) and ERGS (203/PTEKIND/6730054) is appreciated. Assistance in raw material supply by Kuala Lumpur Kepong, Bhd. Northern Branch is also acknowledged.
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