The purpose of this study was to manufacture urea-formaldehyde-based particleboard from hazelnut shell and eliminate its disadvantages such as flammability, water absorption, swelling thickness by using fly ash and phenol-formaldehyde. Synthesized urea-formaldehyde and grained hazelnut shells were blended at different ratios ranging from 0.8 to 3.2 hazelnut shell/urea-formaldehyde and dried at 70 degrees C in an oven until constant weight was reached. In addition, other parameters affecting polymer composite particleboard from hazelnut shell and urea-formaldehyde were investigated to be the amount of fly ash, amount of phenol formaldehyde and the effects of these parameters on bending stress, limit oxygen index, water absorption capacity and swelling in the thickness. The optimization results showed that the maximum bending strength was 4.1 N/mm(2), at urea-formaldehyde ratio of 1.0, reaction temperature of 70 degrees C, reaction time of 25 min, hazelnut shell/urea-formaldehyde resin of 2.4 and mean particle size of 0.1 mm. Although the limited oxygen index and smoke density of composite particleboard without fly ash has 22.3 and 1.62, with fly ash of 16% (w/w) according to the filler has 38.2 and 1.47, respectively. Water absorption and increase in the swelling thickness exponentially decreased with increasing phenol formaldehyde. Copyright (c) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.