This study presents the evaluation of some important properties of sandwich-type panels made from bamboo (Dendrocalamus asper) and rice straw (Oryza sativa). A total of 32 experimental panels with an average target density ranging from 0.65 to 0.80 g/cm3 were produced. The sandwich-type experimental panels were made from a mix of 95 percent bamboo and 5 percent rice straw particles as the core layers and a mix of 95 percent bamboo and 5 percent rice straw fibers as the face layers. Mechanical properties of the specimens, including modulus of elasticity, modulus of rupture, internal bond strength, hardness, face screw holding strength, formaldehyde emission, thickness swelling, and surface roughness, were determined. Experimental results showed that both physical and mechanical properties of the samples were favorable. Panel type D, with 50 percent fiber and 50 percent particle and a density of 0.80 g/cm3, had the highest strength characteristics. Mechanical properties of the panel satisfied the minimum requirements for interior particleboard panels for general use based on Japanese Industrial Standard A-5908 of 1995. It appears that using only 5 percent rice straw did not adversely influence overall properties of the samples. This study indicates that bamboo and rice straw furnish can be used as a viable alternative to wood in the form of three-layer, sandwich-type panels with enhanced surface quality as substrate for thin overlays to manufacture panels products for furniture and cabinet units.

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Author notes

The authors are, respectively, Associate Professor, Dept. of Forest Products, Faculty of Forestry, Kasetsart Univ., Bangkok, Thailand ([email protected]); Professor, Dept. of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Oklahoma State Univ., Stillwater ([email protected]); and Wood Technologists, Forest Products Division, Royal Forest Dept., Bangkok, Thailand ([email protected], [email protected]). This paper was received for publication in May 2009. Article no. 10629.

*Forest Products Society member.