Engineered wood is also called as composite wood, man-made wood or manufactured wood. These products are manufactured by binding strands, particles, fiber’s or veneers of wood together with a strong adhesive. These include plywood, hardboard, particle board, veneer sheet, oriented strand boards, Glulam, etc. These products are manufactured to make wood more easily to use for commercial purposes; be it construction, home appliances or even industrial purposes.
ADHESIVES USED FOR MAKING ENGINEERED WOOD
- Urea-formaldehyde resins (UF): most common, cheapest, and not waterproof.
- Phenol-formaldehyde resins (PF): yellow/brown, and commonly used for exterior exposure products.
- Melamine-formaldehyde resin (MF): white, heat and water resistant, and often used in exposed surfaces in more costly designs.
- Methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) or polyurethane (PU) resins: expensive, generally waterproof, and does not contain formaldehyde.
Driftwood is a floating piece of wood that lands upon the seashore. Such pieces of wood can come from many sources- broken branch of a tree or even a piece from a wrecked ship or boat. Driftwood can float for an extended period of time and is often bleached by the sun. An accumulation of driftwood could be found during stormy weather or high winds.
Such wood pieces are normally infected with bacteria or colonized by various aquatic life including algae. Such woods are extremely light. Driftwood is normally used to create handicrafts and furniture. They are easy to carve and make it ideal for carving to make handicrafts. They have also used make furniture, canes, and fences.
- CHARACTERISTICS: Extremely fragile and non-durable
- USAGE: Furniture, handicrafts, novelties, fences, etc.
Plywood is made up from a number of thin sheets of wood, otherwise called as piles or veneers which are glued together under heat and pressure. The top and bottom sheet have the grain facing the same way. Each sheet of wood has the grain going lengthways on one layer and crossways on the next. This is what gives plywood its strength.It is also called engineered wood. It can be made from both hardwood and softwood.
- CHARACTERISTICS: Plywood resists to cracking, bending, wrapping and shrinkage, depending upon the thickness. Extremely strong and also resistant to insects.
- USAGE: flooring, wall paneling, furniture, cabinets, formwork, etc.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF PLYWOOD
- INTERIOR: Plywood is available from hardwood or softwood and used for interior purposes. It is used for furniture, doors, cabinets, cupboards, etc. The plywood is available in different faces and color depending on the need. Interior plywood is available in all grades.
- EXTERIOR: This plywood is available in the highest grade. They are more moisture resistant than other plywoods. They are available in all grades and color depending on the need. They are used for exterior doors, construction, ceilings, etc.
- MARINE: They are made of hardwood veneers. This type of plywood is completely moisture resistant. The best glues are used while manufacturing such plywood and final plywood is has the finest quality as well. This kind of plywood can withstand excess load and vibrations. It is ideal for high-quality projects. They are used mainly for marine purposes i.e. construction of ships, boats, etc. It is also used for furniture, hoardings and other exterior purposes where is it required to resist the changing weather. This wood is resistant to termites and borer.
- STRUCTURAL: This type of plywood has maximum strength and stability. This plywood’s appearance is the least concern. The best glues are used to make this plywood to give it maximum strength. They are used for numerous purposes like furniture, construction, etc. where the appearance has less importance and strength is required. They are resistant to impacts and heavy blows.
Fibreboard is a wood product sold in large thin sheets. It is similar to that of plywood but offers higher density and strength. It is commonly made from softwoods like pine, but it also includes wood scraps, sawdust, cardboard, paper, etc. These shredded materials of wood and workable material are placed inside equipment known as defiberator, which turns the wood scraps into fine fibers. These fibers are mixed with wax and resin and pressed into sheets to make fibreboards.
Fibreboard is available in 3 types- low density, medium density, and high-density boards. Medium density fibreboards are widely used.
- CHARACTERISTICS: Strong and durable. However, it is not resistant to moisture and humidity.
- USAGE: Furniture, cabinets, home appliances, etc. Mostly for indoor use.
OSB is made from the wood ground into thin wood strands. These strands are mixed with wax and adhesive and then hot pressed. OSB is stronger and stiffer. They are more cost-effective than plywood.
OSB’s are not really recommended for outdoor use as they are vulnerable to weather. The edges can expand up to 15% especially if they are cut edges.
- CHARACTERISTICS: Strong, stiff and durable. However, it is not resistant to moisture and humidity. It can swell at edges.
- USAGE: Furniture, cabinets, roofing, flooring, home appliances, etc.
Glued timber is a structural timber product obtained by bonding several dimensional wood sheets together with an adhesive. GLT normally consists of 4-5 wood sheets bonded together each measuring about 2mm thick. Glued Timber is also called as GLULAM.
GLULAM is manufactured from softwood as well as hardwood. They are also available in different grades. The highest quality timbers are used to create exceptional structures and low quality where strength is not critical.
GLULAM is a very versatile wood and is used for the construction of excellent structures: be it for building, gymnasiums or railways. Glulam is used in construction of gymnasium, educational and recreational facilities. Indoor pools, auditoriums, etc. Due to its exceptional properties like impact resistant, water resilient and chemical resistant properties, it is used in the construction of railways, bridges, pools, factories, etc. Glulam is readily available, cost-effective and can be easily installed.
A thin manufactured board made from compressed wooden particles – one side smooth and the other side rough. These boards are denser than medium density hardboard but harder and have great strength. They are processed in wet and dry methods. While wet method leaves one side rough and one side smooth. The dry process leaves both sides smooth. Hardboard has more strength than particle board. It does not crack or split easily.
Hard boards are used for the construction of houses in specific for construction of divider walls, beds, cabinet panels, etc. They are also commonly used in automobiles to make decks on windows, panel doors, dashboards, etc. Hard Board is used commonly in many industries as they are very economically priced.
- CHARACTERISTICS: Strong, stiff and durable. One side is normally smooth and another side rough.
- USAGE: Furniture, construction, automobiles, cabinets, home appliances, acrylic use, handicrafts, etc.
Masonite is a type of hardboard produced by steam cooking and pressure molding method, invented by William H Mason. Masonite is also known by different names such as Isorel, torex, treetex, etc.
Masonite board has two types-tempered and untempered in standard variety. Masonite is very strong and dense and flexible enough for bending or shaping. Masonite has good machining properties. Masonite like hard boards is economically priced as well.
When exposed to moisture, Masonite might swell or warp. These hardboards are commonly used for making indoor furniture, temporary flooring for stages, used by artists as a substitute for canvas, construction of walls, furniture, etc.
As Masonite does not have good structure support in comparison to other fiber boards, they are not commonly preferred.
- CHARACTERISTICS: Strong, durable and resistant to moisture. However, they do not have a good support structure.
- USAGE: Furniture, temporary flooring, canvas, cabinets, home appliances, etc.
Particle board is the cheapest type of hardboard. It is made from wood chips, sawdust, sawmill shavings, etc. bonded with synthetic resin or other suitable binders, which is pressed and extruded.
Particle board is cheaper, much denser and uniform than conventional wood. They have poor strength and very economically priced. Another major disadvantage of this board is that it is not resistant to moisture. It can expand or decolorize. Therefore it is hardly used for outdoor purposes.
Particle boards are used in making shelves, cabinet boxes, door frames, door hinges, cabinet frames, etc. The particle has good machining properties and holds screws in place under extreme weights as well.
- CHARACTERISTICS: Poor strength and non-durable
- USAGE: Furniture, cabinet frames, window and door frames, etc.
LVL is an engineered wood product which is produced by binding multiple layers of thin wood together with adhesives. LVL is strong, straight and uniform in nature. Unlike other boards it is resistant to moisture, shrinking, swelling, etc. These boards are poor fire resilient
- CHARACTERISTICS: Strong, durable and resistant to weather conditions.
- USAGE: Headers, beams, furniture, frames, roofing, flooring, etc.