Publication Search Results
Results per page
Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
(2011) Wechsler, Andrea; Ramirez, Mariano; Crosky, Alan; Zaharia, Magdalena; Jones, Haley; Ballerini, Aldo; Nunez, Mario; Sahajwalla, VeenaConference PaperMost food industry activities result in large amounts of by-product that are often treated as waste and sent to landfill. In Australia, the macadamia nut industries generate as much as 28,000 tonnes of empty shells on an annual basis. These by products are under-utilized, often used for garden mulching or ground and used for animal filler, or else incinerated, as their disposal in landfill is cost-prohibitive, through sheer volume. However, these by-products are perfectly suited to the manufacture of panels, as they come clean and dry after processing, and present excellent physical properties when exposed to high humidity environments, particularly when compared to softwood. This makes them suited to applications such as panel furniture in high moisture environments, including kitchen and bathroom sink countertops or drawers where dimensional, swelling and adhesive problems are often an issue. This paper presents results of research into panels made from macadamia industry by-products in Australia, identified as being particularly abundant and underused. The matrices of these composite materials have been chosen from non-toxic and organic bonding agents, such as castor oil based adhesives. The present study considers and explores the suitability of these materials for high-moisture environment panel applications. Results are presented for the main physical properties and are compared with mixes already available in the market. The results show that these new materials compare well with commercially available materials, exceeding their performance in several cases, particularly with respect to water absorption and thickness swelling. These new panels have the potential to become a sustainable replacement option for high-humidity environment furniture particleboards, made with waste resources
(2011) Wechsler, Andrea; Ramirez, Mariano; Crosky, Alan; Zaharia, Magdalena; Jones, H; Ballerini, Aldo; Nunez, Mario; Sahajwalla, VeenaConference PaperThis paper presents results of research into polypropylene based wood plastic composites reinforced with food industry and forestry by-products, identified as being particularly abundant in Australia but underutilised, viz. macadamia shells, pine cones and eucalyptus capsules. The present study considers and explores the suitability of these materials for high-moisture environment furniture panel applications. Results are presented for the relevant physical and mechanical properties and are compared with a conventional wood plastic composite utilising radiata pine as the filler. The water absorption and swelling were generally lower in the forestry and food industry by-product composites than in the conventional radiata pine composite with the best results being obtained for the macadamia nut shell composite. The mechanical properties were however poorer than those of the conventional wood plastic composite. Nonetheless, it is considered that the forestry and food industry byproduct composites do provide a viable material and have the potential to become a sustainable replacement option for high-humidity environment furniture panel composites. This would provide much better utilisation of these currently undervalued agricultural waste resources.