Developing quality standards for physical properties of mineral wool plugs

C. Blok, C.C. van den Berg, A. van Winkel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The KIWA certification guidelines for mineral wool products contain standards for slabs and blocks. Propagators would like to introduce quality standards for mineral wool plugs as well. Main concerns were effects of too dense plugs on plant growth, and handling problems with too fluffy or broken plugs. Other concerns were too deep or shallow seed holes and handling problems with ill centred seed (holes). A number of test productions of plugs with different densities and seed hole depths were used to design new methods. One part of the test productions was used for growth experiments at two propagators. The other part was used in the laboratory to develop methods to determine material density, shape and volume of the seed hole, pene¬trability and the number of broken plugs. It was found that plant growth decreases with a material density of more than 85 kg•m-3 dry matter and the optimum material density is between 70 and 85 kg•m-3 dry matter. Methods for measuring the material density, the seed hole depth and the centricity of the seed hole were successfully developed and accepted by propagators and producers. Methods for penetrability and a tentative breakage test were not reliable enough yet. Based on the new methods, applicable standards for plug performance were introduced as part of the KIWA certification.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the IS on Growing Media and Soilless Cultivation
EditorsC. Blok, E. van Os, W. Voogt
Place of PublicationLeuven
PublisherISHS
Pages327-334
Volume1034
ISBN (Print)9789462610217
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventInternational Symposium on Growing Media and Soilless Cultivation, Leiden, The Netherlands -
Duration: 16 May 201416 May 2014

Conference

ConferenceInternational Symposium on Growing Media and Soilless Cultivation, Leiden, The Netherlands
Period16/05/1416/05/14

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