Quality Eco-Composite Boards from Oil Palm AgroWaste of Empty Fruit Bunches

The potential application of eco-composite boards made from agro-waste of oil palm empty fruit bunches was investigated. The empty fruit bunches (EFB) of oil palm obtained from a private oil palm plantation. These EFB were refined using a fiber cutter and a particle crusher. During the mixing process, hardeners and wax were added at 1% and 3%, respectively. Boards with densities of 500, 600, and 700 kg/m3 made with resin urea formaldehyde as the bonding agent at 10%, 12%, and 14%. The boards were conditioned in a conditioning chamber. Before proceeding with testing, the chamber should be set at 202°C and 65 percent relative humidity. The EN Standards specifications were used in the preparation and testing of test samples. The highest modulus of rupture (MOR) and modulus of elasticity (MOE) achieved in this study were 22.91 N/mm2 and 2059.56 N/mm2, respectively. Internal bonding was found to be 0.98 N/mm2 for the edge and face screw withdrawal, and 467.47 N/mm2 and 512.37 N/mm2 for the edge and face screw withdrawal, respectively. Boards with a density of 700 kg/m3 The density and 14 percent resin content met the standard specifications. The resin-fibre bonding property was investigated using a scanning electron microscopy machine. The resin and fiber in the board were carefully inspected, and voids appeared at the cross-section of the board with density 500 kg/m3 at 10% resin, indicating that moisture penetrated into the board via the open spaces and weakened the linkages, causing the board to have low properties. TGA results show that the maximum rate of decomposition for the EFB boards occurred at 380.83°C. This study found that the density and resin content of the board had an effect on its overall properties, with boards produced at 700 kg/m3 density and 14 percent resin content exhibiting excellent overall properties and good dimensional stability. SEM imaging of this type of board reveals numerous voids structure that absorbs and traps moisture. As moisture interrupts the bonding between particles, board performance suffers. When tested using TGA, the UF resin demonstrated greater thermal stability than regular boards.

Author (s) Details

Razak Wahab
University College of Technology Sarawak, Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia and Centre of Excellence in Wood Engineered Products, UCTS, 96000 Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia.

Mohamad Saiful Sulaiman
University College of Technology Sarawak, Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia and Centre of Excellence in Wood Engineered Products, UCTS, 96000 Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia.

Hashim W. Samsi
University of Tasmania, Australia.

Ros Syazmini Mohd Ghani
University College of Technology Sarawak, Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia and Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Taharah Edin
University College of Technology Sarawak, Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia.

Nasihah Mokhtar
University College of Technology Sarawak, Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia and Centre of Excellence in Wood Engineered Products, UCTS, 96000 Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia.

Mohammad Haziq Razak
Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Penang, Malaysia.

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