keywords: Box-Behnken, Linear expansion, Optimization, Particle board, Sawdust, Thickness swelling, Waste recycling, Water absorption.
This study aimed to optimize the production of particle boards from agricultural waste (sawdust). The physical properties studied were Water Absorption (WA), Thickness Swelling (TS) and Linear Expansion (LE). The production of particle boards was investigated under the following conditions: stacking time (14-21 days), resin loading (386-463 g) and amount of agro residue (154-185 g) using Box-Behnken design. Statistically significant models (p<0.05) were developed to represent the relationship between the responses (WA, TS and LE) and the independent factors. The three models showed significant fit with experimental data with R2 values of 0.99, 0.99 and 0.97, respectively. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) results showed that WA, TS and LE were influenced by the stacking time, amount of resin and agro residue used. Response surface methodology (RSM) was used to optimize the WA, TS and LE, and the results showed that the minimum WA, TS and LE values of 4.05%, 0.38%, and 0.34% were respectively obtained at the optimum production conditions of stacking time, resin loading and amount of agro residue (i.e. 21days, 462.82g and 185.00 g respectively). The particle board produced at the optimized conditions satisfied the American National Standard Institute ANSI/A208.1-1999 specification for general-purpose particle boards