The International Panel Products Symposium is the leading technical conference on wood based panels. It is an ideal networking opportunity for science and industry reporting developments in particleboard, OSB, MDF, plywood and fibreboard.

Review of IPPS Master Class 2016

13 - 14 September 2016, Bangor, Wales

BC hosted its biennial IPPS Masterclass in the laboratories at Bangor University. We host the Masterclass on alternative years using a workshop format to address selected topics of relevance to industry. The small group approach works well for the practical nature of the workshop. The 2016 Masterclass was entitled “Back to Basics” and attracted a number of representatives from the industrial sector for a range of talks, discussions and practical sessions on particle size determination, wood anatomy and how it may affect panel properties, wood biodeterioration and basic resin and adhesive considerations.

The first topic, particle size determination, was presented by Dr Martin Ohlmeyer, from the Thünen Institute of Wood Research in Germany. Dr Ohlmeyer gave a presentation on the current and past methods of fibre particle measurements and also introduced the novel Fibre Cube equipment that he has developed.

Dr Martin Ohlmeyer Dr Morwenna Spear

The next session was a presentation and practical one on wood anatomy, led by Dr Morwenna Spear of BC. This included microscopic examination of a number of wood samples, which for some of the delegates was their first microscopy experience for a long time! The discussions included how to recognise differing wood cell types, the role of these parts of the wood structure and how this may impact on panel properties when making fibres, chips or flakes and veneers.

Dr Lone Ross Gobakken Dr Simon Curling

Day 2 of the Masterclass started bright and early with a presentation on wood biodegradation by Dr Lone Ross Gobakken form the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO) discussing all aspects of wood moulds, stains and decay.

This was followed by a practical class involving microscopic examination of fungi and decayed wood led by Dr Lone Ross Gobakken and Dr Simon Curling of BC. A wide range of examples of wood and panel products which had been exposed to different fungi were examined, discussed and observed under the microscopes.

The last session of the Masterclass was led by Dr Rob Elias, director of BC discussing resin and adhesives and included a short, but fun practical session using an improvised testing system for determining the strength of adhesive bonds. Different hardener addition rates and cure times were compared by the teams of delegates.

Dr Rob Elias MC2016 participants

The event was a success and covered the basics in an accessible way. Delegates said they enjoyed the chance to discover or revisit concepts that play an important part in product performance and properties.

BC would like to thank Dr Ohlmeyer and Dr Ross Gobakken for their time in assisting with the Masterclass and would also thank CRC Chemical Release for their sponsorship.