Wood and Bio-Fibre Composites
The Institute is engaged in carrying out detailed evaluative studies on plantation species to assess their suitability for manufacturing plywood, a layered wood composite having world-wide acceptance. Experiments are conducted in the Institute's laboratories as well as at the in-house industrial level pilot plant. Suitability of several plantation species, including Silver Oak, Poplar, Eucalyptus, Wodier, Maeopsis emenii, Melai dubia for manufacturing general purpose (IS 303) plywood have been studied.
During the year, suitability of Silver Oak, Maeopsis emenii, Melai dubia, and Jhingan for manufacturing higher grades of plywood were studied.
Banana Leaf Sheath
Banana leaf sheath is a waste from the Banana plantation that gets rot and is of a nuisance value. Technology has been developed to produce particle board for ceiling tiles, door infill, etc.
Laboratory technology to manufacture panel materials from Banana leaf sheath in combination with wood veneer have been developed by RRL Thiruvananthapuram (RRL.T) under the project funded by BMTPC. Up-gradation /up-scaling this technology to pilot scale was carried out at IPIRTI to evolve industrial scale parameters as also to study its techno-economic feasibility for its successful commercialization. Its adoption will help to reduce wood consumption while utilizing a waste from horticulture i.e. banana sheath. In addition to easing pressure on wood, the Banana Leaf Sheath usage of banana leaf sheath for commercial purpose for making wood alternate would also generate additional income to the farmers who grow banana plants in large scale and would help to improve their economic status. Technology has been developed to produce particle board for ceiling tiles, door infill, etc. However, further refinement in technology is required for commercial viability of the product.
Rice Husk Particle Board
Among, all the agricultural residues, the most abundantly available is rice husk. It is the by-product of the most important agro-based industry in the country, namely pady milling. Rice husk is available in the country to the extent of 2 million tones per annum. Research work to find ways and means to utilize rice husk for the production of useful materials has been under way for the past two decade or so. However due to its high silica content the conventional process of making particle board was not successful.
Research work to find ways and means to utilize rice husk for the production of useful materials has been underway for the past three decades or so. However, because of its unique chemical composition, not many successful methods have been evolved.
The RHPB technology developed by IPIRTI was transferred in 1985 to National Development Corporation (NRDC) of New Delhi, India, A GOI Enterprise, for further development and commercialization. NRDC licensed the technology to M/S Padmavathy Panel Boards Pvt. Ltd (PPBL), Bangalore, Karnataka in 1987 and also worked through PPBL to overcome the problem generally encountered in transferring any technology from lab to factory.
IPIRTI has refined a technology for manufacturing multilayered particle board using modified phenol cardanol formaldehyde resins. The strength properties of the panels meets the requirement as per relevant specifications. The boards processes high termite decay and fire resistant.
The proposed technology has a high environmental impact, since utilization of rice husk in one way prevents deforestation.
Bagasse Particle Board
Bagasse is the fibrous residue left after extraction of juice from sugarcane. The fibre content varies between 26-30 to 33-36%. On an average, it constitutes about one third of sugarcane crushed. India is the largest producer of sugar in the world, but in terms of utilization o bagasse for paper making, it ranks 14th, as most of this valuable material is burnt as fuel in sugar mills and only the “saved or substitute bagasse” is available for pulping.
Bagasse is the residual pulp from sugar cane (Saccharus officinarum L.) after the juice has been extracted. A considerable amount of excess bagasse generated from sugar mills are only le`ft to rot or burned to do away with storage. As a fire and an environmental hazard, this waste material possesses a challenge in waste management to the sugar mills and a concern to the environmentalists for it presents a serious disposal problem. Bagasse Particle Board
IPIRTI has developed a technology for the manufacture of Bagasse particle boards which emits less formaldehyde and meets the requirement of strength properties as per IS: 3087- “Specification for medium density particle boards”.