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The potential to recover higher value veneer products from fibre managed plantation eucalypts and broaden market opportunities for this resource: Part A Project No: PNB139-0809


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Farrell, R, Blum, S, Williams, DR and Blackburn, DP 2011 , The potential to recover higher value veneer products from fibre managed plantation eucalypts and broaden market opportunities for this resource: Part A Project No: PNB139-0809.

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Executive Summary
This project, titled the potential to recover higher value veneer products from fibre managed plantation eucalypts and broaden market opportunities for this resource, has two parts:
• Part A investigates the genetics and wood quality of obtained from E. nitens and E.globulus grown in Tasmania and the genetic parameters that affect quality of rotary peeled veneer, plywood and LVL.
• Part B investigates marketing rotary-peeled veneer recovered from native pulp woodin Tasmania. It looks at the potential to develop niche markets for the resultant products.
The objectives of this Part A of the study were to:
1. Provide baseline data on veneer quality and plywood properties of fibre-managed plantation E. nitens grown in Tasmania.
2. Identify the genetic parameters that affect quality of rotary-peeled veneer and plywood to guide selection of families for future breeding programs and to examine the compatibility of breeding for potentially conflicting objectives.
3. Assess the effectiveness of an acoustic sorting strategy and potential gain from segregation of logs for veneer and plywood production The key outcomes, industry benefits and indication to future work included:
1. This project presents Australia’s first large scale peeling trial for plantation E. nitensproviding significant baseline data on plywood properties and veneer quality and the genetic parameters that underpin them. Results will help guide future breeding programs and direct research towards key processing parameters most likely to improve veneer quality and recovery and therefore commercial opportunities for peeled products from this resource.
2. Glue bond tests (for exterior use) were generally promising. Further work is required to improve and understand bond quality issues in younger (16yr) E. nitens resource.
3. Shear properties were poor for all resources tested at UTAS and EWPAA facilities,limiting F-Grade classification to F8 and below. Assuming shear strength could be increased beyond the observed limiting levels through process optimisation the resources tested would classify with F-Grades of F34 (E.glob), F17 (E.ni26), F17 (TasOak / E.ni16), F17 (TasOak / P.rad) and F11 (E.ni16).
4. Significant gains in veneer quality (and resultant product properties) may be achieved through appropriate drying of the plantation veneer.
5. Log steaming prior to peeling also needs to be evaluated to establish veneer quality (and end product) implications.
6. Plywood panels with optimised veneer sheet layup increased resultant panel stiffness by 18%.
7. Viable processing of short-rotation (16yr) unpruned will depend on increasing average stiffness properties through genetic selection of superior families, use of acoustic sorting strategies to exclude low stiffness logs, process optimisation and recovery improvements as well as stiffness grading and alignment of veneers in panel construction.
8. High stiffness (and strength) values for E. nitens 26yr plywood panels (>14GPa, i.e. ≥F17), suggest opportunities for E. nitens resource on longer rotations (i.e. 20-25yrs).
Further work is needed to analyse this potential including recovery of face grade veneers from pruned E.nitens logs.
9. Very high stiffness (and strength) values for the E. globulus resource indicate opportunities to utilise this species for peeled structural products. Further work is needed to examine material harvested from younger rotations i.e. 10-20yrs, (noting, the 33 yr material in this project was opportunistic).
10. Acoustic correlations at log level (5.4m) were similar to those at billet level (2.4m) and were sufficient to indicate potential for acoustic segregation of long logs prior to merchandising.
11. The large dataset gathered for the 16yr E. nitens was useful in correlating AWV to veneer stiffness facilitating the segregation of logs into three stiffness classes. The practical benefit from an acoustic segregation strategy is likely to be the ability to identify low and high stiffness logs at the extremes of the stiffness distribution and utilise them appropriately.
12. Final engineered wood product (e.g. plywood and LVL) stiffness from plantation E. nitens could be improved through selectively breeding for higher standing tree AWV.
13. There were no adverse estimated genetic correlations between studied objective traits, indicating a breeding objective could be developed to include traits that would simultaneously improve desired properties in both pulpwood and RPV engineered wood products.
14. Implications for industry. The grade recovery into face material suitable for plywood was zero. This makes the resource as a stand-alone option unsuitable for plywood production. It may be suitable to supplement supplies of core veneer however industry usually has an over-supply of lower quality veneers and struggles to find uses for it.
Commercial grade recovery is 80% C-D, 20% D-D plywood (which is later sold at marginal price). With no face grade ply, there is no commercial viability. For LVL production this is not as critical however there are limited LVL opportunities currently in Australia (only one LVL plant).

Item Type: Report (Project Report)
Authors/Creators:Farrell, R and Blum, S and Williams, DR and Blackburn, DP
Keywords: peeled veneer, plywood, MOE, E. nitens, eucalyptus strength, AWV, acoustic wave velocity, veneer recovery
Publisher: Forest&Wood Products Australia Limited
Additional Information:

Copyright 2009 Forest & Wood Products Australia Limited.

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