Effects of Esters and Resorcinol on Phenolic Resins as Adhesives in Medium-Density Fiberboard Manufacturing


  • Martin W. Feng
  • Guangbo He
  • Axel W. Andersen


Phenolic resin, ester, resorcinol, formaldehyde emission, medium-density fiberboard


Phenol-formaldehyde (PF) resin-bonded composite wood panels exhibit very low formaldehyde emission levels, meeting the most stringent regulations. However, slow cure speed is a major limiting factor for its applications in the economical manufacturing of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and particleboard. Commercial PF resins accelerated with esters or resorcinol and their applications in the manufacturing of MDF were investigated in this article. It was found that although ethylene carbonate, propylene carbonate, and triacetin were very effective in reducing the gel time of phenolic resins, these esters caused substantial loss of bonding strength, particularly in the case of phenolic resins with high alkalinity. The loss of bonding strength increased as the ester loading level in the PF resin was increased. On the other hand, resorcinol was not only an effective PF accelerator, but also preserved most of the bonding strength. Resorcinol-accelerated PF adhesives showed better performance in internal bond strength, bending strength, and water resistance of MDF in comparison with the ester-accelerated PF adhesive systems. The cure speed of the resorcinol-accelerated PF adhesive was evaluated against a urea-formaldehyde (E2 type) in the manufacturing of MDF.


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