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Title: The effects of temperature and humidity on formaldehyde emission from UF-bonded boards : a literature critique

Author: Myers, George E.;

Date: 1985

Source: Forest products journal. Vol. 35, no. 9 (Sept. 1985): Pages 20-31

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: An analysis has been conducted on available data related to temperature and humidity effects on formaldehyde concentrations that are produced by emission from particleboard and hardwood plywood paneling. Temperature changes are described by an exponential relation while a linear relation suffices for humidity effects. Large variations exist in the results from different investigators on different boards for the exponential temperature coefficients B (–5620° to -12,480°K-1) and for the linear humidity coefficients ß (0.005% to 0.038%-1). The variations appear to be caused by experimental errors, procedural differences between laboratories, board-to-board differences, and board aging. Statistical treatment of all chamber test data as a composite set (normalized to unity at 25°C) yields a composite B of –8930°K-1, with a 95 percent confidence interval from –8390° to –9470°K-1 (± 6% relative error). Using this composite B, calculated correction factors, c (25°C)/ c(T), varied from 4.89 at 10°C to 0.152 at 45°C. The statistical analysis also indicates that significant board-to-board and laboratory-to-laboratory variations occurred. Assuming this composite coefficient is indeed valid for a particular board or dwelling, it can be used to make temperature corrections to standard temperature with, for example, relative errors (95% confidence) in correction factors being ± 7 percent for a ± 10°C temperature difference. In the absence of knowledge about the specific applicability of a particular temperature coefficient, however, temperature corrections should probably be restricted to a 5°C range, except for general engineering or planning purposes. A similar composite analysis of all the humidity data (normalized to unity at 50% relative humidity (RH)) yields a composite ß of 0.0195%-1 with a 95 percent confidence interval from 0.014 to 0.025 (± 28% relative error). The corresponding correction factors, c (50%)/ c (RH), vary from 2.41 at 20 percent RH to 0.56 at 90 percent RH. Very large variations between investigators, and between boards, lead to poor confidence in such composite universal humidity correction factors, however, and no clear recommendation can be made regarding correction factors to convert formaldehyde concentrations to a standard humidity. Small humidity changes (~10% RH), however, probably can be neglected since they may be masked by rather minor temperature changes (± 1° to 2°C). Much more information is needed to clarify the reasons for the large variability and to increase confidence in temperature and humidity correction factors.

Keywords: Formaldehyde, temperature, humidity, emission, UF, urea-formaldeyhyde, literature reviews

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Myers, George E. 1985. The effects of temperature and humidity on formaldehyde emission from UF-bonded boards : a literature critique. Forest products journal. Vol. 35, no. 9 (Sept. 1985): Pages 20-31


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