Some Chemical Properties of Luffa and Its Suitability for Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) Production

Mehmet Akgül, Süleyman Korkut, Osman Çamlıbel, Ümit Ayata

Abstract


This study was conducted to evaluate suitability of luffa (Luffa cylindrica) fiber for medium density fiberboard (MDF) production. For the experiment, luffa and commercially manufactured fibers (Pinus sylvestris (30%), Fagus orientalis Lipsky (35%) and Quercus robur L. (35%)) with 11% moisture content were used. Luffa was mixed with commercially manufactured fibers in the following fashion: a layer of luffa fiber (30 g) placed in the middle of the mat, two equidistantly placed layers (60 g) in the mat, three layers (90 g) instead of two in the mat, and homogenously (90 g) dispersed without a district pattern in the mat, respectively. In panel production the only variable tested was the addition of luffa fiber at various weights to the wood fibers. Commercial urea formaldehyde (UF) adhesive was used as a binder. Chemical properties, including holo-, α-cellulose, and contents, alcohol-benzene solubility in dilute alkali (1% NaOH), and hot and cold water solubility, were determined. In addition, some physical and mechanical properties, such as density, thickness swelling (TS), bending strength (BS), modulus of elasticity (MOE), and internal bond (IB) of the panel of MDF were also measured. The chemical composition and solubility of luffa were found to be similar to those of nonwoods in general. Thus, the results suggest that luffa (Luffa cylindrica Mill.) fiber can be used as an alternative raw material for MDF manufacturing.

Keywords


Luffa fiber; Luffa cylindrica; MDF; Physical properties; Mechanical properties

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