Particleboard is a commonly used material all across the world. Being made of wood pieces or chips and resin, it is an easily sourced material. However, it is another material that plays into deforestation. What if there was a crop that could create the same woody material in a four-month span compared to years of tree growth? That’s where industrial hemp comes into play. The woody material from hemp, called hurd, is perfect for particleboard as it is processed as small chips.

In a 2014 test, a hemp particleboard was created for testing. The results showed the following. The properties of the particleboard are optimal, with a 1:1 ratio of hemp hurd to wood particles. The hemp hurd and wood particles actually strengthen each other when particleboard is made from a mixture of the two. The low density and the low mechanical properties of fiber cell walls were both advantages for the hemp hurd used to manufacture the particleboard panels. Once again, hemp shows itself to be an optimal building material that can help with sustainability.

read the full study

Li, X., Wang, S., Du, G., Wu, Z., & Gong, Y. (2014). Manufacturing particleboard using hemp shiv and wood particles with low free formaldehyde emission urea-formaldehyde resin. Forest Products Journal, 64(5), 187-191


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