In order to study the feasibility of utilizing wheat straw as an alternative raw material for panels, experimental one-layer particleboards were produced by mixing straw with industrial wood particles in various proportions (100:0, 75:25, 50:50, 25:75, 0:100). Three different adhesive systems were used for blending the raw materials: a UF resin (E grade), a PMDI resin and various UF:PMDI combinations (10:0, 8:2, 7:3, 6:4, 5:5). The evaluation of the mechanical and hygroscopic properties of panels showed the following results: Partial replacement of wood particles from straw in panels bonded with pure UF resin resulted in deterioration of all properties except linear swelling. Partial or whole substitution of wood by straw in PMDI bonded panels, improved the bending strength and all hygroscopic properties of the panels but reduced the internal bond (dry and wet) and screw holding strength, although to a much smaller degree compared to UF bonded panels. The properties of panels bonded with various UF:PMDI combinations and comprising 50% wood and 50% straw were considerably improved by increasing the PMDI content. In terms of the properties, pure straw panels or panels made of certain wood/straw mixtures, if bonded with PMDI resin or the appropriate UF:PMDI combination, can be used for specific applications where high quality panels are required according to the specifications of the related standards.
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