Skip to main content

Official Journal of the Japan Wood Research Society

Strength, decay and termite resistance of oriented kenaf fiberboards


The development of oriented fiberboards made from kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) and their suitability as a construction material has been investigated. Three different types of boards consisting of five layers with individual orientations were prepared using a combination of low molecular weight and high molecular weight phenol-formaldehyde (PF) resin for impregnation and adhesion purposes. Additional boards with the same structure were prepared using high molecular weight PF resin only. The mechanical properties of the boards have been examined as well as their resistance against fungal decay and termite attack. All kenaf fiberboards showed elevated mechanical properties compared with medium-density fiberboard made from wood fibers, and showed increased decay and termite resistance. Differences in the decay and termite resistance between the board types were caused by the presence of the low molecular weight PF resin for the impregnation of the fibers. No significant difference was found for the mechanical properties. The effect of the PF resin for impregnation was much clearer in fungal decay resistance than for termite resistance; however, fiber orientation had no effect on both decay and termite resistance of the specimens.


  1. Kawai S, Zhang M, Okudaira Y, Xu J, Widyorini R, Han G (2002) Development of kenaf bast fibreboard and core binderless particle-board. Proceedings of the 6th Pacific Rim Bio-Based Composites Symposium, Oregon State University, Portland, OR, USA, 10–13 November, pp 129–134

    Google Scholar 

  2. Muehl J, Krzysik AM, Youngquist JA, Chow P, Bao Z (1999) Performance of hardboards made from kenaf. In: Sellers T, Reichert NA, Columbus EP, Fuller MJ, Williams K (eds) Kenaf properties: processing and products. Mississippi State University, Ag and Bio Engineering, Mississippi, USA, pp 367–379

    Google Scholar 

  3. Okuda N, Sato M (2004) Manufacture and mechanical properties of binderless boards from kenaf core. J Wood Sci 50:53–61

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Ohnishi K, Okudaira Y, Zhang M, Kawai S (2000) Manufacture and properties of oriented medium density fibreboard from non-wood lignocellulosic fibres I. Development of a mechanical orientator and its application to manufacturing oriented fibreboard. Mokuzai Gakkaishi 46:115–124

    Google Scholar 

  5. Ohnishi K, Umeoka K, Okudaira Y, Zhang M, Kawai S (2003) Development of kenaf boards and their properties. Proceedings of the International Kenaf Symposium, CCG International, Beijing, China, 19–21 August, pp 175–188

    Google Scholar 

  6. Widyorini R, Xu J, Watanabe T, Kawai S (2005) Chemical changes in steam-pressed kenaf core binderless particleboard. J Wood Sci 51:26–32

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Xu J, Widyorini R, Kawai S (2005) Properties of kenaf core binderless particleboard reinforced with kenaf bast fiber-woven sheets. J Wood Sci 51:415–420

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Grigoriou A, Passialis C, Voulgaridis E (2000) Experimental particleboards from kenaf plantations grown in Greece. Holz Roh Werkst 58:309–314

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Chow P, Harp T, Meimban R, Youngquist JA, Rowell RM (1996) Effects of acetylation on the dimensional stability and decay resistance of kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) fibreboard. International Research Group on Wood Preservation (IRG) Document No: IRG/WP/96-40059, p 7

  10. Walters CS, Chow P (1975) A soil-block assay of treated and untreated particleboard. American Wood Preservers’ Association 71:170–175

    Google Scholar 

  11. Kawai S, Sugawara R, Onishi K, Okudaira Y, Zhang M (2001) Development of kenaf oriented fiberboard — effects of molecular weight of phenol formaldehyde resin on board properties. Proceedings of Symposium on Utilization of Agricultural and Forestry Residues, Nanjing, China, 31 October–3 November, pp 12–16

  12. Kartal SN, Green F (2003) Decay and termite resistance of medium density fiberboard (MDF) made from different wood species. Int Biodeter Biodegr 51:29–35

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Japanese Standards Association (2004) JIS K 1571. Test methods for determining the effectiveness of wood preservatives and their performance requirements (in Japanese). Japanese Standard Association, Tokyo

    Google Scholar 

  14. Japan Wood Preserving Association (JWPA) (2001) JWPA JWPSTW-P 1. Introduction of wood preservation (in Japanese). JWPA, Tokyo

    Google Scholar 

  15. Park BD, Riedl B, Hsu EW, Shields J (2001) Application of cure-accelerated phenol-formaldehyde (PF) adhesives for three-layer medium density fiberboard (MDF) manufacture. Wood Sci Technol 35:311–323

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Nzokou P, Zyskowski J, Boury S, Kamdem DP (2005) Natural decay resistance of LVL made veneers from durable and non-durable wood species. Holz Roh Werkst 63:173–178

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Curling S, Murphy RJ (1999) The effect of artificial ageing on the durability of wood-based board materials against basidiomycete decay fungi. Wood Sci Technol 33:245–257

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Thomas Walther.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Walther, T., Kartal, S.N., Hwang, W.J. et al. Strength, decay and termite resistance of oriented kenaf fiberboards. J Wood Sci 53, 481–486 (2007).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Key words