The Malaysia’s tropical climate is extremely favourable for the production of various type of unique fruits and vegetables as well as or palm oil and paddy. This country is incredibly seldom affected by hurricane or other natural disaster. Malaysia has a wetness level of 90% due to its location which is near to the equator. The weather is hot and wet for whole year which are appropriate for several sort of agriculture such as rubber, oil palm, and rice occupy the mass of agricultural lands. Hence, there will be a waste material from agricultural production which might cause the hazards resulting from burning it or leaving it to deteriorate in the field. So, the application of waste material from agricultural production operation will assist in reducing some waste management issues.
Rice straw is an agricultural waste which may perform as a raw material source for building material. Straw is defined as a stems or stalks of certain agricultural product which can get from cereals especially wheat, rice, barley, oat and rye. When cereal crops are processed after harvest a variety of “by-products” are created, every cereal crops containing variable quantities of chaff, straw, and weed seeds, as well as some grain (Hilman, 1981). Same goes to the rice straw. Rice straw could be a low-value material, renewable nature of straw, easy availability and even appropriate for building material. In the making of rice straw building material, their physical, mechanical, thermal insulation and chemical properties are should be considered.
The term thermal insulations refers to material that used to reduce the rate of heat transfer, or the ways and processes used to reduce heat transfer. Thermal insulation can keep an enclosed area such as building warm, or it can keep the inside cold. Rice straw are tend to be fascinating interesting material as the filler in biodegradable polymer composites, due to its good thermal stability compared to other agricultural residue (Lee SY, 2004a).
Straw bales provide a decent thermal insulation values of 0.067 W/mK that abundant less than the wood and other building raw material (Goodhew and Griffiths, 2005). Most studies dealing with insulation material (cork, bark, rice straw, hemp, etc.) shows that the low densities between 170 kg/m³ and 260 kg/m³ and low thermal conductivity coefficients between 0.0475 W/mK and 0.0697 W/mK. (Kain et al., 2013; Wei et al., 2015; Ali and Alabdulkarem, 2017). Besides that, an experiment of low density boards with a mix of wheat straw and corn pith of has been done. Different experiment has been done shows that the bale density ranges from 54.6 kg/m³ -78.3 kg/m³ for barley straw bales and 81 kg/m³ -106.3 kg/m³ for each oat and wheat straw bales (Watts et al., 1995). Furthermore, another experiment has been done and the results shows that the equilibrium wetness content is not affected by the density of the sample. The results also shows that the thickness swell is larger than linear growth because of the orientation of fibres, parallel to the faces board (Wang, D. Sun, 2002).
In this paper, the investigation of this experiment are going to be done to seek out the effect of heating of rice straw board using hot-press, rice straw board density, rice straw board particle size and ambient temperature on the properties of the rice straw as a thermal insulation board. Besides, this experiment will also determine whether or not the rice straw thermal insulation board tend to be interest for energy saving for purposes when it is used in building insulation material.