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Preliminary Examination of Factors Affecting Manufacture of Value Added Products From Recycled Pallet Parts
Hosterman, Nathan Scott
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A Preliminary Examination of Factors Affecting Manufacture of Value Added Products From Recycled Pallet Parts Nathan S. Hosterman Abstract Pallets are the single largest consumer of hardwood lumber in the United States. While the pallet industry has effectively adopted widespread pallet recycling, many pallets still go into landfills with little or no value gained from their material. Recovered pallet lumber has been proposed as a potential source of material for value added wood products. This study sought preliminary data on issues pertinent to the development of pallet parts as a source of raw material for value added products, with a focus on oak strip flooring. Issues examined included pallet disassembly efficiency, characteristics of recovered boards, and yield of blanks compatible with commercial flooring production. Disassembly of pallets was affected by pallet design. Overall 81% of the deckboards from all pallet designs were recovered, along with 70% of stringers. Oak boards useable in strip flooring represented 21% of the recovered boards studied. Proper board stacking was found to maintain a uniform (MC) which would reduce drying defects and complications. The manufactured blank dimensions would allow production of some of the thinner strip flooring commercially available. National Oak Flooring Manufacturers Association Pre-finished Oak Strip Flooring Grading Rules found almost 80% of the blanks made Prime and Standard Grades. Wide spread adoption of flooring production from recovered pallet would increase the value of recovered pallets, presumably justifying an increased rate and expanded scope of pallet recovery. Economics favoring such valued added recovery would create recovery-related jobs, decrease pallets going into landfills, and ease the demand on timber resources.
- Masters Theses