THE EFFECT OF CELLULOSE NANOCRYSTALS IN SUGARCANE BAGASSE PARTICLEBOARDS OF PITH AND FIBERS
ABSTRACT The aim of this research was to investigate sugarcane bagasse (SCB) particleboards, using two kinds of particles, from pith and fibers, reinforced with cellulose nanocrystals (NCC). The NCCs were dispersed in the adhesive urea formaldehyde (UF) using a sonificator in two proportions (0 and 1%). The NCCs and UF were applied in the SCB particles using a rotary blender. The particleboards were produced in three layers using two kinds of particles: pith and fibers. After dispersion of the adhesive, the mixture was compressed to produce the particleboards, which were characterized by physical, mechanical and thermal properties. The anatomical and chemical features relating to pith and fiber were very similar. The particleboards made with and without NCCs did not differ statistically for most properties: modulus of elasticity (MOE), modulus of rupture (MOR), water absorption (WA) thermal conductivity (TC), and the volume heat capacity (VHC). Particleboards made only with fibers and without NCCs showed higher internal bond (IB). In the other hand particleboards made only with fibers in the face and pith in the core (without NCCs) showed lower thickness swelling after 24 hours (TS24h). Probably, the NCCs did not improve the particleboards performance, because less links were available for SCB to interact with the adhesive. For the others properties the particleboards made with pith and fibers did not showed statistical difference (MOE, MOR, TC, WA, TC and VHC), demonstrating that separation of pith and fiber are not significant and does not affect the final properties of particleboards.