Foam; Light-weight; Particleboard; Polylactic acid; Solid precursor
Shalbafan Ali Rhême Martin Thoemen Heiko (2017), Ultra-light particleboard: characterization of foam core layer by digital image correlation, in European Journal of Wood and Wood Products
, 75(1), 43-53.
Plummer Christohper John George Yonghoon Yoon Garin Léo E.Manson Jan-Anders (2015), Crystallization of polylactide during impregnation with liquid CO2, in Polymer Bulletin
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C. Ganne-Chédeville S. Dietrichs (2015), Potential environmental benefits of ultralight particleboards with bio-based foam cores, in International Journal of Polymer Science
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Y. Yoon C. J. G. Plummer J.-A. Manson (2015), Solid heat-expandable polylactide-poly(methyl methacrylate) foam precursors prepared by immersion in liquide carbon dioxide, in Journal of Material Science
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Yonghoon Yoon Smole Joze Rheme Martin Thoemen heiko Plummer Christopher J.G. Manson Jan-Anders (2015), Solid state polylactid-poly(methyl methacrylate) precurors for the in-line production of foam core sandwich structures, in 20th International Conference on Composite Materials
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Yonghoon Yoon Christopher JG Plummer Heiko Thoemen and Jan-Anders E Månson, Liquid CO2 processing of solid polylactide foam precursors, in Journal of Cellular Plastics
The aim of this project is to develop a new generation of ultra-light particleboard with potential applications in furniture, interior paneling, transport and packaging with the following characteristics:1. Average density below 350 kg/m32. Economically competitive with conventional wood-based panel products3. Bio-based and biodegradableThe technology for the ultra-light particleboard is based on a novel particleboard process with an in-line foaming step, developed at the University of Hamburg and Bern University of Applied Sciences. This new process has been shown to be technologically feasible, and has gained considerable interest in the wood-based panel and furniture industries. However, main barriers to industrial application are that liquid foam precursors cannot be used and that solid precursors currently available on the market are incapable of fulfilling the process and product requirements. The objectives of this project are therefore (i) implementation of a new ecologically friendly foaming system for economically viable ultra-light particleboard production and (ii) to adapt the board manufacturing technology accordingly. This work will require a significant fundamental research effort.The research necessary for the development of ultra-light particleboard will be in two main parts: the development of a foaming system with a precursor applicable as powder or granulate (Tasks 1-4), and the adaptation of the panel production process to suit the foaming process (Tasks 5-7). The following tasks will be addressed:Task 1. Materials selection and formulation: Development of a suitable process for producing expandable PLA in house, optimization of formulations for the particleboard process, investigation of the use of supercritical CO2 to produce precursors. The supercritical route is potentially far more efficient than established procedures, permitting rapid dissolution of CO2 in PLA under precisely controlled conditions.Task 2. Alternative systems: A continued effort will be made throughout the project to identify other foam precursor systems, and integrate these into the project as appropriate. These will include starch-based water expandable precursors and their derivatives and possibly water/CO2 expandable PS, depending on its availability.Task 3 Determination of processing windows for core layer: Establishment of time-temperature-pressure windows and their optimization with respect to the particleboard process through appropriate formulation. Task 4. Analysis of structure-property correlations (core layer only): Establishment of links between the obtainable foam structures and physical and mechanical properties.Task 5. Determination of processing window for surface layers: Development of strategies to extend the processing window towards lower and higher temperatures. Particularly for low temperature curing various adhesive-hardener or catalyst systems will be evaluated, and process parameters will be adjusted appropriately.Task 6. Synchronization of surface layer consolidation and foaming process: Adaptation of the manufacturing process and characterization of three-layer sandwich panels on the macroscopic and microscopic level.Task 7. Numerical modeling of manufacturing process: A numerical model used to simulate the hot pressing process of particleboard and fiberboard will be supplemented by a module describing the thermodynamic processes inside a cooling press and under ambient conditions after the panel has left the press.The development of a new generation of bio-based ultra-light particleboard will secure the resource-efficient use of wood, and the competitiveness of wood-based panels with respect to alternative fossil-based light-weight materials.