Investigations of flakeboard mat consolidation

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Virginia Tech


The response of a flake mat to the mechanical stress applied during consolidation is a function of mat structure, raw material properties and the environmental conditions created during pressing. This research project was aimed at improving the understanding of raw material behavior during the hot-pressing of wood based composites by examining the response of a wood flake mat to the compression encountered during press closure in the flakeboard manufacturing process. The structure of a flakeboard mat can be considered to be that of a cellular material, the properties of which are governed by the cellular geometry, or arrangement of cells, and the properties of the solid cell wall material. A method for quantifying the cellular structure of a wood flake mat was developed and implemented. The structure of thin mat sections and small flake mats was quantified using image analysis techniques. The applicability of theories developed for modelling the compressive behavior of cellular materials to the consolidation of wood flake mats was investigated using thin mat sections. Narrow mat sections and small laboratory mats has similar void sizes but significantly different void shapes. Void size was not significantly affected by flake orientation, but void shape was.