Synchrotron X-ray microtomography and 3D image analysis of medium density fiberboard (MDF)

Thomas Walther 1  and Heiko Thoemen 2
  • 1 Voith Paper GmbH & Co. KG, Heidenheim, Germany
  • 2 Department of Wood Science, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany


The three-dimensional microstructure of a series of laboratory medium density fiberboard (MDF) samples with densities varying from 300 kg m-3 to 1000 kg m-3 was investigated by synchrotron microtomography (SRμCT). After reconstruction and filtering of the volume data, an adapted image analysis was used to extract the structural information about the fiber network at different densities. Information was established on the distribution of intra- and inter-fiber voids, cell-wall material, individual fibers, and fiber bundles. Calculations were performed concerning the surface area towards the ambient void spaces, the number of contacts, and the contact area between selected fibers. Furthermore, the resin distribution on the fibers was investigated and characterized by SRμCT and environmental scanning electron microscopy with stained adhesives. The results presented here allow a new approach to examine the complete wood fiber network of MDFs by automatic image analysis routines.

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Holzforschung is an international scholarly journal that publishes cutting-edge research on the biology, chemistry, physics and technology of wood and wood components. High quality papers about biotechnology and tree genetics are also welcome. Rated year after year as one of the top scientific journals in the category of Pulp and Paper (ISI Journal Citation Index), Holzforschung represents innovative, high quality basic and applied research.