Physical and Mechanical Properties of Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) MDF
Atanu Kumar Das,
Lakshmi Rani Mondal
Md. Iftekhar Shams
This study was under taken to identify the physical and mechanical properties of kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) MDF and to evaluate the potential of kenaf MDF in Bangladesh. Properties were compared with market MDF in Bangladesh. Physical and mechanical properties were examined. The density of kenaf MDF and market MDF were respectively, 0.73 and 0.72 g cm-3. The MOR of kenaf and market MDF was 44.97 and 40.65 N mm-2, respectively. The MOE for kenaf and market MDF was 3786 and 3518 N mm-2, respectively. The physical and mechanical properties of kenaf MDF were better than market MDF. The kenaf MDF followed the standard and it can be a good source of raw material for MDF industries.
Received: December 07, 2014;
Accepted: February 18, 2015;
Published: April 02, 2015
Wood or other lignocellulose fibers are bonded by synthetic or other suitable
adhesives under heat and pressure to produce a fibrous felted and homogeneous
panel named Medium density fiberboard (MDF) (NPA., 1994).
Its numerous advantages over solid wood and other composite materials enhance
the production of fiberboard. Most end-use requirements are meeting by uniform
fiber distribution of fiberboards in their structure. It can easily be machined
and finished for various purposes i.e., furniture production. The surface smoothness
of MDF provides an excellent substrate for paint and decorative overlays and
this helps to use it as the best material for cabinet manufacturing (Copur
et al., 2008).
The forest products i.e., MDF, plywood and lumber offer different types of
advantages over solid wood products. The demand of forest products is increasing
considering the benefits of them. Aggressive deforestation is going on in the
world due to increase the demand of forest products (Copur
et al., 2008; Youngquist et al., 1993;
Adger and Brown, 1994). Utilization of agricultural residues
as alternative raw materials can resolve this type of problem partially with
offering numerous economic, environmental and technological advantages. These
are plentiful, renewable and widespread. Using them in the industry is one type
of environmental friendly practice as well (Akgul et
The suitability of agricultural residues as raw materials of wood industry
has been examined conducting several studies to overcome the shortage of wood.
Considering the utilization of non-wood plants in the forest based industry,
some researchers provide accounts of world-wide research (Alma
et al., 2005; Youngquist et al., 1993;
Youngquist et al., 1994). The suitability of production
of composites using of wheat straw, cotton stalk, sun flower stalk and husk
was examined by some researchers Eroglu et al. (2000),
Gencer et al. (2001), Guler
and Ozen (2004), Bektas et al. (2005) and
Copur et al. (2008). Rowell
and Harrison (1993) prepared kenaf fiberboard. Kenaf core binder less fiberboard
was prepared in previous study by Xu et al. (2006)
and kenaf fiber polypropylene was made by Sanadi et al.
(2002). In this study, it was tried to identify the physical and mechanical
properties of kenaf MDF using urea formaldehyde as a binding agent.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The kenaf stick used in the study was grown in the Laboratory Field of Agrotechnology
Discipline, Khulna University (22°48'0"N and 89°33'0"E), Khulna, Bangladesh.
The sticks were dried in sunlight and the bast fiber was separated from the
stick. The core part of kenaf stick was chipped into 2.5 cm in length to get
fiber for preparing board.
Semi chemical pulping was followed to separate the fiber. The chips were submerged
in 19% sodium hydroxide (NaOH) solution for 24 h and in the next the chips were
washed properly to make them free from NaOH. Deliberation of washed chips was
then done using one 25 cm single disc laboratory atmospheric refiner and the
refined fibers were dried in the air. Next these were dried in an oven at 103°C
to reduce moisture content at 4% and dried fibers were kept in sealed plastic
bags until used.
In this study, urea formaldehyde was 20% on the dry weight basis as a binding
agent for the board. A blender was used to mix adhesive with fiber uniformly.
Then mat was formed on a steel sheet using an iron frame. The mat was pressed
in a hot press for 60 min at 0.8 N mm¯2
pressure but the coil of hot press was switched on for the first 30 min. The
temperature was 125°C for the board. The board was trimmed to their final
dimensions of 30x30 cm after cooling and stored at room temperature. The thickness
was 0.30 cm. Market MDF was collected from local market, Khulna, Bangladesh.
The laboratory tests of physical properties for both types of board were carried
out in the Wood Technology Laboratory, Forestry and Wood Technology Discipline,
Khulna University, Khulna, Bangladesh and the laboratory tests of mechanical
properties were done in the Laboratory of Mechanical Engineering Department,
Khulna University of Engineering and Technology, Khulna, Bangladesh. ASTM D
1037-100 (ASTM., 2006) and DIN 52362 (DIN.,
1984) standard procedures were followed to determine the physical and mechanical
Microsoft Office Excel 2013 and SPSS (Statistical Package of Social Survey)
11.5 software were used for analyzing all the data obtained during the laboratory
tests for characterization of physical and mechanical properties of each type
of fiberboards. The analysis was done at 95% level of significance.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Physical properties: The density of kenaf and market MDF was 0.73 and 0.72
g cm-3, respectively (Fig. 1). The density was
higher for kenaf comparing to market MDF. Statistical analysis also showed the
significant difference (95% level of significance) between the two types of
The water absorption was found 34.50 and 40.12%, respectively for kenaf and
market MDF (Fig. 2). The water absorption was the lowest for
kenaf MDF but market MDF showed the highest value of water absorption. There
was significant difference (95% level of significance) between the water absorption
of two types of board.
||Density of kenaf and market MDF
||Water absorption of kenaf and market MDF
||Thickness swelling of kenaf and market MDF
This is lower compare to bagasse MDF (76.40%) (Zare-Hosseinabadi
et al., 2008). Lower water absorption helps to use in adverse condition.
Lower water absorption of market and other agricultural residue i.e., bagasse
MDF may help to increase the applicability of kenaf MDF for different purposes.
The thickness swelling of kenaf MDF was 11.45% and it was 20.97% for market
MDF (Fig. 3). Market MDF showed the highest value of thickness
swelling whether it was the lowest for kenaf MDF. The difference of thickness
swelling was significant (95% level of significance) between the two types of
board. It was 31.90 and 40.50%, respectively for bagasse and wheat straw MDF
(Zare-Hosseinabadi et al., 2008; Markessini
et al., 1997). In this study, thickness swelling was lower than previous
studies (Zare-Hosseinabadi et al., 2008; Markessini
et al., 1997). Less thickness swelling is also important for using
different purposes. Thickness swelling of kenaf MDF is around two times lower
than market MDF. It is around three times and four times are lower than bagasse
and wheat straw MDF, respectively.
Mechanical properties: The Modulus Of Rupture (MOR) of kenaf and market
MDF was 44.97 and 40.65 N mm-2, respectively (Fig.
4). The MOR was the highest for kenaf MDF whether it was the lowest for
||MOR of kenaf and market MDF
||MOE of kenaf and market MDF
It was significantly different (95% level of significance) from each other.
The MOR increases with the increasing of density. This trend founds in previous
study (Xie et al., 2011). According to ANSI
(NPA., 1994), the MOR is 34.5 N mm-2 as well
as according to Desch and Dinwoodie (1996), the standard
MOR is 30 N mm-2. The MOR of the two types of board was higher than
that of both standards. The MOR of wheat, straw and flax MDF were 18.70, 6.00
and 11.30 N mm-2, respectively (Markessini et
al., 1997). The MOR of kenaf MDF followed the standard. It is also higher
than standard and previous investigations on MDF made from other agricultural
The Modulus Of Elasticity (MOE) was 3786 and 3518 N mm-2 for kenaf
and market MDF, respectively (Fig. 5). The MOE was the lowest
for market MDF but it was the highest for kenaf MDF. Statistical analysis showed
that there was significant difference (95% level of significance) between the
MOE of two types of board. Density influences the MOE and it increases with
the increasing of density (Xie et al., 2011).
According to ANSI (NPA., 1994) and Desch
and Dinwoodie (1996), the standard MOE is 3450 and 2500 N mm-2.
The MOE of two types follow the both standards and it was higher than that of
standards. MOE of Kenaf MDF was higher than MOE of market MDF.
The kenaf MDF showed better performance for both cases i.e., physical and mechanical
properties than market MDF. It followed the standard and showed higher value
than that. The properties of kenaf MDF were also higher than some other MDF
made from agricultural residues. These show that there is a possibility to use
kenaf as an alternative raw material for MDF industries.
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