Waste from agriculture industries can be well managed if value-added products such as particleboard can be manufactured from these raw materials. Therefore, in this project, 20% of cocopeat fibres and 80% of Merawan Siput Jantan (Hopea Odorata) were used as potential raw materials for particleboard manufacturing. The mix of 20% rubber latex and 80% Urea Formaldehyde (UF) added with 2% Nano Silicon dioxide (SiO2) were used as a binder in particleboard manufacturing. Urea formaldehyde (UF) was used as a control sample in this study. A total of 36 boards were fabricated with nine (9) parameters were used in this study. A series of testing, such as physical properties, mechanical properties, adhesive properties, scanning electron microscopic (SEM) analysis, and formaldehyde emission, was used to evaluate experimental particleboards' strength properties. All the board samples were evaluated based on EN 310, EN 319, JIS A 5908, and JIS A 1460 to evaluate the quality of particleboards produced in this study. The thickness swelling (TS) results were showed all the values for all the board samples had obtained the values < 50%. Water absorption (WA) values for all the boards have successfully achieved the values below 150 % when used a rubber latex as a partial binder in this project. As expected, the best performance for mechanical properties still was found in the board samples made from 100 % Merawan Siput Jantan bonded with Urea formaldehyde (UF) and successfully passed the IB test (0.60 N/mm2) as stated in EN 319, 1993. The mix board samples also showed comparable strength properties when obtained a value of 593.60 N/mm2, when the binder used a rubber latex as partial resin and added with 2% Nano-SiO2. However, none of the samples was passed the bending strength test, as stated in the standard. Adhesive properties also revealed that rubber latex was categorized as an acid when getting a pH value of approximately 4.17. A suitable binder for particleboard manufacturing should have an alkali characteristic and have more than 60 % resin content. Higher viscosity value found in the rubber latex causes difficulty to mix well with the fibres and wood particles. The SEM analysis also proved this condition where some fibres or wood particles did not well covered with the binder. Nano silicon dioxide (SiO2) only significantly affects the formaldehyde emission (FE) test. All the binders used this additive had successfully reduced FE values. In conclusion, cocopeat fibres and Merawan Siput Jantan can be used as a potential part of raw materials for particleboard manufacturing. Modification of rubber latex should be enhanced in further study. Treatment to the cocopeat fibres and wood particles should be done earlier as an alternative to increase both physical and mechanical properties.
KEYWORDS: Cocopeat fibres, Merawan Siput Jantan, Rubber latex, Nano-SiO2, Particleboard