Wettability and surface roughness characteristics of medium density fiberboard panels from rhododendron (rhododendron ponticum) biomass
Keywords:rhododendron, MDF, surface roughness, wettability, surface characteristics
Wettability and surface roughness properties of medium density fiberboard (MDF) panels made from Rhododendron biomass were examined in this study. Rhododendron dominates the understory layer of the forests throughout the Black Sea Region in Turkey with substantial biomass potential. This study was conducted to evaluate suitability of Rhododendron fiber for MDF production. For the experiments, rhododendron and commercially-manufactured-chip (Pinus sylvestris L. and Quercus robur L.) with 11% moisture content were used. The mixing ratios of rhododendron with commercially-manufactured-chip were 100:0, 75:25, 50:50, 25:75 and 0:100 %, respectively. Commercial urea formaldehyde (UF) adhesive was used as a binder. A stylus method was employed to evaluate the surface characteristics of the samples. Roughness measurements by the stylus method were taken perpendicularly to the fiber. There was a significant diff erence (p=0.05) between surface roughness parameters (Ra, Rz, Rq, and Ry). Th e results obtained in this study revealed that all the panels have met the general purpose-use requirements of European Norm (EN). It was found that panels made with a 25/75 ratio of rhododendron to commercially-manufactured-chip had a significantly lower contact angle (88.14o) than panels made with a 100/0 ratio (117.91o). Surface roughness measurements are based on four roughness parameters, average roughness (Ra), mean peak-to-valley height (Rz), root mean square roughness (Rq), and maximum peak-to-valley height (Ry) were considered to evaluate the surface characteristics of the panels and supported the above findings as the panels made with a 25/75 ratio had a slightly rougher surface with average values of 2.929 μm (Ra). From the tests performed, we conclude that increasing the rhododendron mixing portion increased surface roughness and decreased wettability. Based on these results, rhododendron biomass could be an alternative raw material for MDF manufacturing.