Overall properties of poplar waferboard can be considerably upgraded by the massive use of an inexpensive resin binder derived form ammonium-based spent sulphite liquor (SSL). Further improvement on waferboard quality can be achieved by the combination of higher resin content and thinner wafers. Low-density waferboard also can be produced to meet CSA 0188 requirements by using aligned wafers. This inexpensive SSL binder, however, requires a longer press time and prefers a higher platen temperature to cure. A new waferboard plant, designed and built to fully exploit both technical and economical advantages of this binder system, would be ideal. For some existing waferboard plants it may be necessary to slightly modify their production line in order to adopt this new binder system. Great savings on resin cost can be realized by substituting the expensive petrochemical-based phenolic resin with the renewable and inexpensive sulphite liquor binder. Economically and technically speaking it is entirely possible to produce a new type of better waferboard at a lower cost.
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.