Interior composite panels from under-utilized wood and non-wood species.
Production of interior composite panels from under-utilized wood and non-wood species is getting more popular in many countries. Rice straw, jute, coconut fiber, oil palm and bagasse are only some of such resources that can be used to produce different types of interior composite panels including particleboard and medium density fiberboard (MDF). In addition to agricultural waste fibers, bamboo is also getting more attention from composite panels manufacturers in Asian countries as an alternative material. Invasive species such as eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana L.) in South Western states in the USA would also be considered as viable raw material to manufacture above products. The main objective of this study was to investigate both physical and mechanical properties of experimental panels manufactured from above raw materials. Both mechanical and physical properties of such panels were evaluated. Panels made 100% bamboo resulted in the best properties among the other samples. Having rice straw in the panels reduced both physical and mechanical properties of the samples. Manufacturing sandwich type of panels with fibers on the face layers while particle of the same type of material in the core improved overall surface quality of the specimens as compared to those made from single layer panels.