School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences - Research Publications

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    Advancing enhanced wood manufacturing industries in Laos and Australia - PML Easbeam Study Tour
    REDMAN, A ; Belleville, B ; Dakin, T ( 2019-11-01)
    This study tour was undertaken as a component of VALTIP 3 Activity 3.2 of Objective 3 (Develop and conduct formal and informal training programs for industry) in the ACIAR co-funded aid project FST/2016/151 Advancing enhanced wood manufacturing industries in Laos and Australia. The aim of this Study tour was to expose the new project partner PML Easbeam Company to engineered wood product manufacturing, potential markets and industries operating in Australia. The PML Easbeam company is a subsidiary of the PML company and was established in July 2019. The PML Company was successful in tendering for the construction of an add-on facility at the National University of Laos to contain equipment for veneer-based product production research. Subsequently, as an established construction company, the company saw the potential and were interested in engineered wood products made from wood veneer, in particular laminated veneer lumber (LVL) structural beams. At the point of writing this report, PML Easbeam is in the process of setting up an LVL plant in Vientiane to manufacture LVL beams using certified, plantation eucalyptus material for domestic and international markets. The PML Easbeam Company financed the study tour themselves. The expected mid to long-term outcome of this exposure is to facilitate the uptake of veneer-based processing and product development in Laos PDR. Previous research conducted during ACIAR co-funded aid project: FST/2008/039 Enhancement of veneer products from acacia and eucalypt plantations in Vietnam and Australia, identified spindleless-lathes as the most likely evolutionary technology to improve the productivity of processing small plantation-logs in Lao PDR. The veneer processing sector in Vietnam is well established and involves 4,200 wood processing and trading enterprises and in the order of thousands of household businesses employing over 300,000 labourers operating in over 300 traditional wood-processing villages (To and Quang, 2012). During surveys of small rural areas of Northern Vietnam, Ozarska et al. (2015) identified that exporters of peeled veneer to China and India cannot meet the demand of these countries. Therefore, this undersupply could provide potential export markets of processed veneer from small plantation-logs currently growing in Lao PDR.
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    Advancing Enhanced Wood Manufacturing Industries in Laos and Australia - Rubberwood and Eucalyptus K7 Panel Manufacturing September 2019 (Internal Report)
    Belleville, B ( 2019-10-09)
    This report presents an overview of a research and training activity conducted at the Faculty of Forestry, National University of Laos, between 10-13 September 2019. The aim of the activity was to: • Provide hands-on training on plywood and laminated veneer lumber (LVL) manufacturing to Valtip 3 team members (4) and 3rd- and 4th- year students from the Faculty of Forestry at the National University of Laos (8); • Prepare plywood and LVL panels (dimensions: 1.2 m x 1.2 m) from rubberwood and eucalyptus K7 using phenol-formaldehyde (PF) and long open time polyurethane (PUR) adhesives; • Prepare promotional and mechanical testing samples to assess the selected species and manufacturing conditions (material to be tested in November 2019).
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    Enhancing the knowledge of wood properties and processing characteristics of PNG timbers - Gluing characteristics of PNG timber species for various wood product applications
    Belleville, B ; Lancelot, K ; Galore, E ; Ferhmann, J ; Ozarska, B ( 2019-02-01)
    Gluing is considered one of the most important technologies in the production of value-added wood product. In the majority of wood products, both appearance (e.g. furniture, flooring) and structural (e.g. glue-laminated beams, plywood, LVL) timber elements are joined together into larger components through edge and surface laminating, finger jointing and other types of joints. In order to meet requirements and criteria for strength and performance of glued components and products a sound knowledge of gluing characteristics of PNG timbers is required. The present document presents the gluability behaviour of 24 species sourced from the Morobe and West New Britain provinces, Papua New Guinea. Seven species have been harvested from plantations and 17 from secondary forests. The group included 3 softwoods and 21 hardwoods. Two species, Eucalyptus pellita and Wau Beech (Magnolia tsiampacca) could not be assessed because of lack of enough timber. The report is based on activity 1.5 results which consisted in laboratory testing of glue-bond strength and performance of various types of glues for PNG selected timber species in various climatic conditions to simulate service conditions in potential market destinations. Two criteria, namely shear strength and wood failure, have been used to determine if a species can meet the minimum requirements for either dry use or wet use applications. Five species showed to bond very well i.e. achieved satisfactory results for both dry use and wet use applications: PNG Basswood (Endospermum medullosum), White Cheesewood (Alstonia scholaris), Erima (Octomeles sumatrana), Labula (Anthocephalus chinensis), and Klinki Pine (Araucaria hunsteinii). A second group of seven species provided results satisfying or able of satisfying the requirements for dry use applications: Grey Canarium (Canarium oleosum), Pencil Cedar (Palaquium warbargianum), Pangium (Pangium edule), Caribbean Pine (Pinus caribaea), Hoop Pine (Araucaria cunninghamii), PNG Quandong (Elaeocarpus sphaericus), Taun (Pometia pinnata), and Brown Terminalia (Terminalia brassii). Where PNG Boxwood (Xanthopyllum papuanum), Kwila (Intsia bijuga), PNG Mersawa (Anisoptera thurifera), PNG Rosewood (Pterocarpus indicus), and PNG Vitex (Vitex cofassus) could not meet the requirements for dry use applications using a standard cross-linking PVA, preliminary trials using a non-structural polyurethane showed they could possibly satisfy the requirements for dry use applications and even wet use applications in some cases (e.g. PNG Vitex). Two species classified under bond with difficulty, namely White Albizia (Falcataria moluccana) and Water Gum (Syzygium spp.), would most probably achieve satisfactory results (i.e. upgrade to bond well) with optimisation of gluing parameters. Four species provided low shear strength results and very limited wood failure resulting in them being classified as very difficult to bond: Blackbean (Castanospermum australe), Heavy Hopea (Hopea iriana), Kamarere (Eucalyptus deglupta), and Malas (Homalium foetidum). Not surprisingly, most of them are high or very high-density species which are known to be very difficult to bond. One species (Heavy Hopea) failed to meet the requirements for both dry and wet uses when using EPI. Such species would probably need some mechanical or chemical surface treatment to improve adhesion. Additional tests with dense species from 2nd batch i.e. Blackbean, Water Gum, Kamarere, and Malas would also be recommended to fully assess their suitability for non-structural applications.
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    A Wood Recovery Assessment Method Comparison between Batch and Cellular Production Systems in the Furniture Industry
    Prasetyo, VE ; Belleville, B ; Ozarska, B ; Mo, JPT (AMER SOC TESTING MATERIALS, 2019-01-01)
    Enhanced wood recovery mirrors a successful wood manufacturing operation. Studies of wood recovery in secondary wood processing, however, are scarce, particularly in furniture manu-facturing. Although recovery rates are under the continuous surveillance of sophisticated tech-nology, this attempt to monitor wood recovery would be especially challenging for small- to medium-sized furniture enterprises, as the capital investment in such technology would be substantial. This would hinder the possibility for improvements in production efficiency of the furniture industry. A methodology of wood recovery assessment in the furniture industry has been developed and proposed but has not been validated with a cellular production sys-tem, a different layout process and distinctive machinery, species, and other customer require-ments. The objective of this study is to assess the wood recovery protocol individually used in batch and cellular production systems, followed by examining the wood recovery of furniture manufacturing in these distinct production systems. Two Indonesian medium-sized furniture companies that individually operate batch and cellular production systems were employed, and two methods, mass and volume, were used to assess wood recovery at each furni-ture-making station. There was a significant difference in cumulative wood recovery rates be-tween batch and cellular production systems. Based on species and product dimensions, the average individual and cumulative wood recovery rates of furniture manufacturing resulted in a significant difference at the resawing and edging station. Large-dimension product recorded higher wood recovery level than small-dimension product. The wood recovery rates at the resawing and edging, surface planing, thickness planing, and trimming stations were mostly influenced by species, the quality of sawn timber, and cutting bills. Meanwhile, wood recovery at other stations was affected by product dimension and design. The mass method was the most acceptable method according to the measurement systems analysis.
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    Enhancing the knowledge of wood properties and processing characteristics of PNG timbers - Machining characteristics of PNG timber species
    Iru, R ; Belleville, B ; Tsiritsi, C ; Ozarska, B ( 2019-01-31)
    An intensive testing program has been conducted to assess the mechanical properties and other processing characteristics (e.g. gluing, treatability) of 26 PNG timber species. The present activity report presents the machinability behaviour of 25 species sourced from the Morobe and West New Britain provinces, Papua New Guinea. Eight species have been harvested from plantations and 17 from secondary forests. The group included 3 softwoods and 22 hardwoods. One species, Eucaliptus pellita, could not be assessed because of lack of enough timber. A total of 1,337 specimens and more than 3,600 linear meters of timber have been planed with a standard moulder machine and visually assessed by means of planing grading rules developed for the PNG wood processing industry. The grading system developed is based on the worst affected area of a machined surface (see Table 2 and Appendix 1). One or two people using sight and touch method have graded the planed surface. The defects checked for were torn grain, fuzzy grain, raised grain, chipped knife mark and knife mark. Between 32 to 76 specimens have been assessed per species with each specimen being dressed 3 times removing 1.6 mm every time. A total of 18 wood species proved to machine very well with more than 90% boards being graded either “excellent and requiring very light sanding” or “good and requiring light sanding”. Eight species from this group obtained a perfect score (i.e. 100%) across all three runs: • Hoop Pine (Araucaria cunninghamii) 100% • Kwila (Intsia bijuga) 100% • Labula (Anthocephalus chinensis) 100% • Malas (Homalium foetidum) 100% • Pangium (Pangium edule) 100% • PNG Rosewood (Pterocarpus indicus) 100% • PNG Mersawa (Anisoptera thurifera) 100% • White Cheesewood (Alstonia scholaris) 100% • Erima (Octomeles sumatrana) 99% • Pencil Cedar (Palaquium warbargianum) 99% • PNG Basswood (Endospermum medullosum) 99% • Water Gum (Syzygium spp.) 99% • Kamarere (Eucalyptus deglupta) 98% • Blackbean (Castanospermum australe) 97% • Brown Terminalia (Terminalia brassii) 97% • PNG Quandong (Elaeocarpus sphaericus) 97% • Wau Beech (Magnolia tsiampacca) 94% • Caribbean Pine (Pinus caribaea) 91% A second group consisting of PNG Vitex (Vitex cofassus), Grey Canarium (Canarium oleosum), Heavy Hopea (Hopea iriana), Klinki Pine (Araucaria hunsteinii), and PNG Boxwood (Xanthopyllum papuanum) machined moderately well with averages across all three machining runs ranging between 70% and 90%. Two species, namely White albizzia (Falcataria moluccana) and Taun (Pometia pinnata), proved to machine with difficulty with average scores of 64% and 57%, respectively.
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    Enhancing the knowledge of wood properties and processing characteristics of PNG timbers - Testing of Basic Physical & Mechanical Properties
    Belleville, B ; Lancelot, K ; Galore, E ; Ozarska, B (Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, 2018-12-21)
    Six  mechanical  properties,  namely  flexural  bending  strength  (MOR),  stiffness  (MOE),  compression strength parallel and perpendicular to the grain, shear parallel to the grain, and hardness were evaluated for 26 PNG species using 2,641 small clear specimens from 130 trees. Heavy  hopea  (Hopea  iriana)  always  offered  the  best  mechanical  properties  of  all  selected  species, providing significantly higher properties in all categories. Pellita (Eucalyptus pellita), Malas (Homalium foetidum), and Kwila (Intsia bijuga) are other species that usually performed significantly better than the average. PNG boxwood (Xanthopyllum papuanum), PNG mersawa (Anisoptera  thurifera),  and  Blackbean  (Castanospermum  australe)  usually  performed  above  average. Erima (Octomeles sumatrana), White albizzia (Falcataria moluccana), PNG basswood (Endospermum  medullosum),  White  cheesewood  (Alstonia  scholaris),  Pencil  cedar  (Palaquium  warbargianum), PNG quandong (Elaeocarpus sphaericus), and Wau beech (Magnolia tsiampacca) usually offered mechanical testing results below the average of the selected species. The impact of the position in the tree on the selected mechanical properties has also been assessed. Stiffness and bending strength tend to decrease or remain unchanged along the stem across all studied species. While shear and hardness testing results showed a similar trend to a lesser extent, the position in the tree had a much more limited impact on the compression strength properties. Further experiments where sampling would consider the radial position within the tree might accentuate observed trends. Therefore, segregating logs based on the position in the tree could be of interest where desired timber mechanical properties and costs associated with segregating is justifying optimum mechanical properties for the intended end use. The mechanical properties of species obtained from plantations and regrowth forests were lower than those found in the literature from old‐growth forests. Different factors including the  size  of  specimens  tested,  the  amount  and  provenance  of  tested  material,  and  some  adaptive traits for tropical tree species might explain some differences. However, comparisons  of  mechanical  testing  results  with  other  recent  studies  tend  to  confirm  a  reduction of physical and mechanical properties when comparing with timbers from old‐growth forests.
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    Effect of Wood Welding Process on Chemical Constituents of Australian Eucalyptus
    Belleville, B ; Koumba-Yoya, G ; Stevanovic, T (Taylor & Francis, 2019-01-02)
    Thermochemical changes occurring during wood welding were investigated in Eucalyptus saligna and Eucalyptus pilularis. Unwelded reference wood and material from welded interface were compared via Py-GC/MS, TGA, XPS, and ATR-FTIR to explain differences in mechanical properties of welded wood between species. It appeared that the species originally containing more condensed substructures also provided stronger joints. The condensation index after welding allowed validating that the adhesive properties of lignin are more accessible in such species. The presence of more carbonyl functions, attributed to carbohydrate solicitation during welding process, potentially made lignin less accessible. Changes following welding were evidenced by the contribution of extractive compounds, fatty acid chains, and terpenoids, possibly reacting with hydroxyl groups and leading to adhesive properties by chemical linkage through new covalent bonds formation. Results corroborate the better mechanical properties of Eucalyptus saligna, providing stronger joints possibly due to more accessible adhesive properties by esterification between lignin and fatty acid.
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    Effect of Wood Welding Treatment on Chemical Constituents of Australian Eucalyptus species
    Belleville, B ; Koumba-Yoya, G ; Stevanovic, T ; Stevanovic, T (Taylor and Francis Group, 2019-01-01)
    Introduction: The potential of wood welding as a fast and cost-effective alternative to gluing for Australian hardwood species has been demonstrated in recent studies (Belleville et al. 2016, 2017). The technique consists in assembling solid wood pieces by mechanical friction to generate heat, which induces the thermochemical changes in lignin which lead to wood welding. The results so far confirm the importance of density and occurrence of anatomical features in the weld line strength and consequently the definition of optimal welding parameter (Leban et al. 2005; Properzi et al. 2005; Belleville et al. 2016). Polymeric material and other compounds present in woods studied previously have commonly been identified to explain observed differences between Canadian wood species (Rodriguez et al. 2010; Sun et al. 2010; Belleville et al. 2013, 2016).
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    Furniture Production Efficiency in the Indonesian Context
    Prasetyo, V ; Belleville, B ; Ozarska, B (International Conference on Wood Science and Technology, 2018-10-16)
    Most efficiency improvement strategies implemented in furniture manufacturing are data-driven methods. Due to a lack of production systems used in most Indonesian small and medium-sized furniture companies, the evaluation of production efficiency for future improvement seems rather difficult to perform. A wide range of existing evaluation tools and the varying capabilities of the companies to adapt the methods contribute to a problematic evaluation process. Research has been undertaken with the aim to develop a generic efficiency evaluation method and to prioritise a new potential metric to assess and control efficiency in furniture manufacturing. A basic production cost analysis with standardized variables has been demonstrated as a typical method to evaluate production efficiency in multi furniture companies, followed by applying a wood recovery assessment, a Pareto analysis, an X-Y matrix, and process capability analysis. The heartwood proportion of teak (Tectona grandis) has been determined as a key potential efficiency metric to control and monitor teak sawn board quality and its utilisation. Applying process capability analysis with a setting of lower specification limits to the population of teak heartwood rates produces a model to simulate optimal teak utilisation.