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Banana Tree Products – Who Knew?

banana veneer

Image attribution: by http://www.woodworkingnetwork.com/wood/wood-veneer/wood-veneer-made-banana-tree-trunks

The company Papyrus Australia LTD has developed a technology that will turn the wasted banana palm trunk into wood products including paper, furniture, packaging, as well as other industries.

The products derived from the trunk have great characteristics such as fire resistance, natural water resistance, and even UV resistance.

China and Egypt are developing projects with this wood because the banana tree has qualities that don’t exist in other woods because of the trees ability to preserve. The banana palm is actually a flowering plant and not a tree.

Papyrus Australia has come up with a patented plantation manufacturing process in order to have a production line for veneer and panel products coming from the plant. Once the plant produces a banana crop, the plant dies. So the company is preserving the wood. This is the process used to manufacture the plant:

First, the outer layer is removed from the banana tree trunk. Then it is prepared for manufacturing. The outer layer is removed in one continuous length. This is done on a patented spindle less lathe.

Once the outer layer is removed, the core is left and used to process the veneer. The veneer is peeled on a spindle less lathe as well, but it is a different version of lathe than what is used on the outer layer. It has a cutter with a greater degree of accuracy, thus it allows thin veneer to be produced.

These two processes take place at the Beta Veneering Unit.

To remove the water and moisture from the plant, there is a process of squeezing the wood mechanically through rollers, and then the material is dried in large ovens. This process is optimized in order to minimize energy usage, and to keep up with quality specs.

For the process of manufacturing panels, the sheets on the outer layer are diced and slitted in order to produce chips that are uniform in thickness and size. These fiber chips will then be mixed with an adhesive. Once that is done they are put into hot presses to become the density that is required.

Banana veneers are non permeable and don’t transmit oils, grease, moisture or solvents even when they are thin. The veneer made from this plant isn’t compatible with the majority of adhesives though, so special ones have to be used on them. These veneers are so smooth there is no sanding involved and it takes less sealant and top coating than most veneers manufactured.

These products are interchangeable with many other wood panels such as particleboard, plywood, MDF, hardboards, and insulating boards. It is said that they are compatible with today’s construction practices and methods. There is great strength in the banana fibers, and so the panels made from them are strong as well. There are good structural properties from the banana plant products, especially after lamination. Who knew this wood would be a great product!

For more on the process click the link below:


Updated: August 24, 2015 — 12:58 am
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