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Characterisation of hardwood fibres used for wood fibre insulation boards (WFIB)

 
: Imken, Arne A.P.; Plinke, Burkhard; Mai, Carsten

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Fulltext ()

European journal of wood and wood products (2021), Online First, 10 pp.
ISSN: 0018-3768
ISSN: 1436-736X
English
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer WKI ()

Abstract
Wood fibre insulation boards (WFIB) are typically made from softwood fibres. However, due to the rapid decrease in softwood stands in Germany, the industry will be forced to adapt to the wood market. Therefore, alternative approaches for the substitution of softwood with hardwood will be needed in the fibre industry. The objective of this paper is to address the characterisation of hardwood fibres regarding their availability for the WFIB industry. The physico-mechanical properties of WFIB are significantly determined by the length of the fibres. Longer softwood fibres usually generate higher strength properties and a lower thermal conductivity than shorter hardwood fibres. In this paper, the potential application of hardwood fibres (up to 20,500 μm long) produced in a refiner by thermo-mechanical pulping (TMP) to WFIB production was examined. The scanner-based system FibreShape was used for the automatic optical analysis of the geodesic length distribution of fibres. The analysed hardwood fibres contained significantly more dust and were shorter than respectively produced softwood fibres, limiting their applicability for WFIB production. Thus, two analytical approaches were chosen to receive longer fibres and less dust: (1) blending hardwood fibres with supporting softwood fibres (20%, 50 and 80% proportion of softwood), and (2) mathematical fractionation of hardwood fibres based on the fibre length to remove all particles smaller than 500 μm. It was concluded that the practical fractionation seems to be economically and ecologically challenging and that blending hardwood fibres with at least 50% softwood fibres offers a promising approach, which should be further studied.

: http://publica.fraunhofer.de/documents/N-634044.html