Cement bonded wood wool boards from podocarpus spp. for low cost housing

  • Alex Lyatonga Mrema Department of Structural Engineering, College of Engineering and Technology, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania


This paper gives results of a preliminary study on the properties of cement bonded woodwool boards manufactured as composites by using wood wool (excelsior) from podocarpus spp. wood species and ordinary Portland cement. Two main parameters were varied during the investigation and these were the width of the wood wool and the cement to wood wool ratio. Results show that the optimum mix proportion is three parts of cement to two parts of wood wool by weight and that a smaller excelsior width gives higher board strengths. The results from tests on flexural strength, compressive strength and tensile strength far exceeded the requirements of the German Standard DIN 1101:1989. Results of water absorption and swelling were, however, higher than those specified in the standard but this was attributed to insufficient pressure on the boards during manufacture an anomaly which can be corrected. The potential uses of the boards are in basements, floor units, permanent shuttering, partitioning, sound insulation in walls, ceilings and floors, roofs, sound barriers and thermal insulation. Further research is required to investigate the use of different wood species and different mineral binders.

Keywords: podocarpus spp, wood-wool, wood-cement composites

Journal of Civil Engineering Research and Practice Vol. 3(1) 2006: 51-64

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eISSN: 1729-5769