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COMPOSITES AND MANUFACTURED PRODUCTS STRENGTH AND PROCESSING PROPERTIES OF WET-FORMED HARDBOARDS FROM RECYCLED CORRUGATED CONTAINERS AND COMMERCIAL HARDBOARD FIBERS JOHN F. HUNT CHARLES B. VICK † A B S T R A C T or total replacement for virgin hardboard Recycled paper fiber recovered from our municipal solid waste stream could fibers in wet-process hardboards. He potentially be used in structural hardboard products. This study compares strength found that adding increasing amounts of properties and processing variables of wet-formed high-density hardboard panels made fibers from wax-coated corrugated con- from recycled old corrugated container (OCC) fibers and virgin hardboard fibers using tainers up to 100 percent increased bend- continuous pressure during drying. The results show that panels made from OCC fibers ing strength 10 percent and stiffness 4 had 3 times the strength and 2 times the stiffness of panels made from virgin hardboard percent but decreased drainage rates 110 fibers. For commercial hardboard, panels made from OCC fibers had 2.5 and 2 times percent. Kruse (4) reported equivalent the strength of standard and tempered hardboards, respectively, and for the American hardboard properties from a commercial National Standards Institute (ANSI)/American Hardboard Association (AHA) stand- trial where 20 percent recycled old corru- ards, panels made from OCC had 5 and 3 times the strength of standard and tempered gated container (OCC) fibers were added hardboards, respectively. Linear expansions for OCC fiber panels were similar to to virgin hardboard fibers. Adding OCC commercial standards, but expansions of panels made from hardboard fibers were about fibers reduced drainage rates and caused half those of commercial panels and panels made to ANSI/AHA standards. Mats formed fractures in the mat during wet-pressing. with OCC fibers were slower draining, higher in initial consistency, and thinner than Kruse concluded that OCC fibers could mats formed with hardboard fibers. The results indicate that fibers from OCC have strong be added to the manufacturing system potential for use in structural hardboard products. with minor adjustments to the process equipment. Yao (10) explored the proper- ties of hardboards made from 100 per- cent municipal solid waste paper fibers. He investigated the effects of binder type, In 1995, the U.S. Environmental Pro- sources would be saved while at the same heat treatment, wax treatment, and using tection Agency (9) estimated there were time reducing landfill pressures. one screen compared with using two 74 × 106 metric tons (82 × 106 short tons) Research efforts to recycle paperboard screens. He found that hardboards met or classified as paper and paperboard in the fibers into hardboards are not new. Stein- exceeded the commercial requirements municipal solid waste stream. Approxi- metz (6) investigated fibers from wax- for tensile strength, modulus of rupture, mately 40 percent of this material was coated corrugated containers as a partial internal bond, and thickness swell. He recycled, yet nearly (44 × 106 metric tons (49 × 106 short tons) were still landfilled. One opportunity to further use wastepa- per is in industrial structural hardboard The authors are, respectively, Research General Engineer and Research Chemist, USDA products. Hardboards do not have the Forest Serv., Forest Prod. Lab., One Gifford Pinchot Dr., Madison, WI 53705-2398. The use same strict requirements for fiber cleanli- of trade or firm names in this publication is for reader information and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Dept. of Agri. of any product or service. The authors thank the ness as paper products, but there are following at the Forest Prod. Lab. for their support on this project: Qiang Li, Ben Henderson, tough requirements for structural per- Arnold Okkonen, Wycliff Ken

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