There are six species of poplar native to Canada's forests. One of the most abundant and widely used of the species is the aspen poplar (populus Tremuloides). Aspen has become the most desirable species for the production of oriented strandboard (OSB). Certain sections of Alberta and British Columbia have considerable stands of aspen. The aspen stands also contain varying amounts of balsam poplar (populus balsamifera) and black cottonwood (populus trichocarpa) and various hybrids of the three species. Forintek Canada Corp's Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) was asked by the B.C.Ministry of Forests to establish whether cottonwood could be a suitable furnish for the production of OSB, since it represented a sizeable potential resource in British Columbia. The poplar species are loosely identified by several names and to confirm the actual species we were referred to Mr.Bob Brash, District Manager, Dawson Creek Forest District. Mr.Brash confirmed that the species in question was in fact balsam poplar (populus balsamifera). Balsam poplar is also known as black poplar and balm poplar. An extensive literature search was conducted on the use of balsam poplar/cottonwood in the production of OSB. The literature review and a summary are reported here.
The relationship of press closing time, strength properties and density profile of thick waferboard panels to mat moisture content was demonstrated in this study. Lower mat moisture contents were found to increase press clothing time but permit faster binder curing. When the distribution of mat moisture was higher in the face layers, shorter press times were achievable and a significant densification of the panel was observed.
The three most abundant wood species from the province of Newfoundland were assessed for waferboard potential. This work was fully supported by the Department of Forestry and Agriculture of Newfoundland.