Evaluation of Strength and Sorption Properties of Polystyrene Bonded Composites of Mahogany (Khaya ivorensis) and Teak (Tectona grandis) Woods
The cost of synthetic resin used for composites production is increasing. Low cost durable glue may be derived from disused polystyrene foams and used in wood composites production. This work therefore examined the strength and sorption properties of polystyrene bonded composites made from particles of Mahogany (Khaya ivorensis) and Teak (Tectona grandis). Particles of K. ivorensis and T. grandis were mixed with polystyrene (PS) glue in ratios 1:1, 2:1, 1:2 and 3:1, and formed into boards. Functional properties of the PS glue were examined using Fourier Transformed Infrared Radioscopy. Strength and sorption tests were conducted on specimens in accordance with ASTM standards. The results obtained revealed that the glue possessed hydroxyl, phenyl and aromatic functional groups that enhanced the strength and stability. The fabricated boards possessed moderate strength and dimensional stability indicating their use as indoor insulating components. Increase in the glue content significantly improved the strength and sorption properties of the composites. Optimum flexural properties were obtained at glue mixing ratio of 2:1.