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Surface emission monitoring of pressed-wood products containing urea-formaldehyde resins


A survey of formaldehyde (CH2O) emission rates from U.S.-manufactured particleboard, hardwood plywood paneling, and medium density fiberboard products has been performed using a Formaldehyde Surface Emission Monitor (FSEM). The results indicate approximately two orders of magnitude variation in CH2O emission rates between weakly emitting paneling and strongly emitting fiberboard products. The measured CH2O emission rates for particleboard, paneling, and fiberboard products averaged 0.30, 0.17 and 1.5 mg/m2 h, respectively. Sources of variation in CH2O emission rate data among the survey boards are investigated. The relative intraboard, interboard, and intermanufacturer variation observed in the test data varies strongly between particleboard, paneling, and fiberboard product categories. The FSEM has also been used to determine the CH2O emission rate of carpet-covered particleboard underlayment in two unfurnished research homes. Measurements were conducted at 16 different temperature and relative humidity (RH) conditions ranging from 17-29 °C and 41%-88% RH to field-test the response of the ESEM to varying CH2O emission strength resulting from the variable environmental conditions. Substituting the FSEM CH2O emission rate data into a simple steady-state, CH2O concentration model (that does not account for variation in temperature and RH conditions) gave good agreement between FSEM-modeled and measured CH2O concentrations. © 1986.

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