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Impact of log position in the tree on mechanical and physical properties of black spruce medium-density fibreboard panels

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Mechanical and physical properties of medium-density fibreboard (MDF) panels made from black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP) top, middle, and butt logs were studied. The analysis of variance and analysis of covariance were both performed to examine the impact of log position in the tree on panel modulus of rupture (MOR), modulus of elasticity (MOE), internal bond (IB), linear expansion (LE), thickness swell (TS), and water absorption. Results indicate that MOE and IB strength of MDF panels made from top and middle logs were significantly superior to those of panels made from butt logs; however, there was no significant difference in MOE and IB between panels made from top and middle logs. Water absorptions of top and middle log panels were significantly lower than that of panels made from butt logs, and the difference in water absorption between panels made from top and middle logs was not significant. TS of top log panels was the smallest among the panels from the three log positions in the tree and was significantly different from those of middle and butt log panels. TS of butt log panels was the highest, which was significantly different from that of top and middle log panels. The differences in LE among the panels made from top, middle, and butt logs were not significant. The comparison of MOR of top, middle, and butt log panels was dependent on panel density because of the interactions among the three groups. Top and middle log panels showed superior properties, because the thinner cell walls of fibres from top and middle logs resulted in an increased compaction ratio compared with the butt log panels. Panel density affected both panel MOR and MOE considerably; however, its impact on IB, LE, TS, and water absorption was not significant in this study. The equations describing the linear relationships between MOR, MOE, and panel density were developed.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 3, 2007

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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