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The wood content on a dry basis for most particle board is between 90 and 95 percent.

Any particle
configuration can theoretically be used although certain physical properties will adversely influence if
adequate particle uniformity is not observed. Also, physical properties can be engineered into the panel by
using different particle size or configurations in the core and surfaces. For example, long particles at the
surfaces significantly increase the bending strength of the panel but they also result in a rough, difficult to
finish surface. Hence if finishing characteristics are more critical than bending strength for a particular
application, smaller particles, which result in a smoother surface, are used on the surface Normally, the
particle size and configuration, as well as distribution of the various sizes through the panel thickness, is
adjusted to optimize the desired properties with a minimum effect on the remaining properties.
The compression of the particles, which is required for consolidation into the finished product, enhances
the particle-particle contact, producing more interparticle adhesive bonds as well as reducing total void
volume in the panel. With wood of density higher than the finished particle board, the compression of the
particles is lower and the resultant reduced interparticle contact and higher void volumes adversely
influence the physical and mechanical properties of the particleboard.
The acidity of the wood should also be monitored to allow adjustments in the adhesive system to maintain
the same polymerization rate. The adhesives are pH sensitive and excess fluctuations in the wood pH may
retard or speed the polymerization process.