ALTERNATIVE BINDERS IN THE PRODUCTION OF WOOD-BASED PANELS TO IMPROVE COMPETITIVENESS
Synthetic thermosetting binders are the most common in the manufacture of wood-based panels: phenol-formaldehyde, urea-formaldehyde and isocyanate-based resins. These panels are toxic to humans both in the process of their manufacture and in the use of finished products, since over time, the release of carcinogenic formaldehyde emissions occur. Synthetic thermosetting binders: phenol-formaldehyde, urea-formaldehyde and isocyanate-based resins are the most common in the manufacture of wood-based panels. If the concentration of formaldehyde in the air exceeds 0.1 ppm, it irritates the eyes, throat and nasal mucosa, and makes breathing difficult. Especially intensively formaldehyde is released from urea-formaldehyde resins in the moist conditions. It is often found that in residential premises with new furniture, the concentration of formaldehyde exceeds 0.3 ppm; this is why the norm of 0.2% formaldehyde in wood-based panel products has been introduced in the European Union, but all products containing more than 0.05% formaldehyde must be accompanied by a warning.
Due to good technical characteristics, synthetic and harmful binders are used in the production of wood-based panels in 85% of cases. Currently, industrially produced wood-based panels contain up to 15% of the synthetic binders obtained from oil resources, which accounts for up to 50% of all costs. Wood-based panel materials produced in this way are not environment and health friendly. Synthetic binders from isocyanates do not release harmful emissions, and are also, in themselves, less toxic to the end user, but still more harmful substance are used in the manufacturing process, endangering the plant workers’ health, and those binders are still more expensive than phenol-formaldehyde and urea-formaldehyde binders. Binders, being developed without the use of the synthetic adhesive composition with formaldehyde, have common drawbacks – as the main component, food products are used: soy flour or starch, and in some cases, synthetic and carcinogenic additives are used to improve the water resistance of adhesives.
We offer to make from a birch wood processing by-product – bark – an ecological binder, which is a mixture of suberinic acids or partially depolymerized and acidified suberin. The advantage of such wood-based panels is not only excellent mechanical and moisture-resistant properties, but also ecological product, which does not threaten either the environment or human health.
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