UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The development of hollow core composite panels for value added applications Sam-Brew, Solace Araba


An ongoing shortage of suitable woody waste materials due to the many recent saw-mill closures in Canada has been a major concern for particleboard manufacturers. The existing particleboard plants are currently competing with other industries for the scarce fiber resources available and facing significant competition from the cheap lower grade substitutes being imported from China. This thesis presents a solution through the development of hollow core sandwich panels for modular furniture components that serve the same function as solid slabs of particleboard but with reduced amounts of raw material inputs (wood and resin). Through a series of preliminary experiments, prototype honeycomb sandwich panels were fabricated with a variety of face and core materials. The characteristic effects of different types of Kraft paper honeycomb materials, its cell size, orientation and cell wall height as well as the influence of different wood-based face materials on the sandwich strength and stiffness properties were established. The results indicate that by combining thicker (6 mm) face sheet materials with Kraft paper honeycomb with cell size less than 16 mm, cell wall height 38 mm and oriented with the core ribbon direction perpendicular to the long axis of the panel, a sandwich panel with significant strength properties can be produced. The findings also imply that the performance of the honeycomb sandwich panels can further be improved through the application of edge rail enforcements and edge band application. The outcome of this study has the potential of reducing the total weight of finished products for the furniture manufacturers and provides avenues for product differentiation.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada