Timber is a natural building material that offers superior performance and environmental advantages. It is a versatile, sustainable, attractive and cost effective building material that combines beauty, performance and environmental advantage.
Properly treated recycled wood materials offer a multitude of building and design solutions, creating living spaces alive with beauty, warmth and comfort.
Top 3 reasons for using wood products
Wood Solutions is an industry initiative designed to provide independent, non-proprietary information about timber and wood products to professionals and companies involved in building design and construction.
- renewable, sustainable resource that store carbon dioxide
- the manufacture process of wood products requires smaller amounts of energy and it can be reused or recycled
- low embodied energy
- maximise Green Star Energy rating credits
- Design Advantages
- timber materials have aesthetic appeal
- cost effective alternative to other major building material choices
- versatile and can be used in various contemporary uses and applications
- engineered wood products create structures that are strong, visually appealing and unique
- Product Performance
- provides acoustic, thermal and strength performance
- in a fire situation, timber performs in a measurable, predictable way allowing designers the ability to create strong, durable, fire resistant timber constructions
- Shrinkage and Swelling of Wood
- Deterioration of Wood
- Nutrients- the presence of nitrogen in wood is necessary for the growth of fungi in wood.
Types of industrial timber products
Veneer refers to thin slices of wood, usually thinner than 3 mm (1/8 inch), that typically are glued onto core panels (typically, wood, particle board or medium-density fiberboard) to produce flat panels such as doors, tops and panels for cabinets,parquet floors and parts of furniture.
- chances of splitting or cracking are reduced
- the glue used provides additional strength, making the end result stronger than natural wood
- uses less wood than the same piece of furniture made with solid wood
- readily available than solid wood as exotic hardwood lumber can be scarce and very expensive.
Plywood is another manufactured board that it is made from layers of solid timber veneer that are usually about 3 millimetres thick. Because it is made in layers it is incredibly strong but also light in weight.
The interior layers of these boards are usually made from an inexpensive wood while the outer veneer layers are made from more expensive timber to give the board a nice wood grain appearance.
This type of board is manufactured from layers of veneer that are glued together and compressed under heat, they are then cut into appropriate sizes. With each new layer of veneer added the grain is rotated at 90 degrees each time, this is done to maximise the boards strength and to prevent warping and twisting.
- Very strong
- Resists cracking, bending, warping, and shrinkage
- Can be made from most timbers to increase aesthetics
- Good for wood panelling
- Edges of board are unattractive and can’t be covered
- Not suitable for many joints
- Still may contain natural defects such as knots due to the sheets of veneer
3. BLOCK BOARD
The composition of blockboard is very different from other engineered woods such as plywood, MDF (Medium-density fibreboard) or Particle boards. It is made from solid blocks of wood at its core, sandwiched between layers of wood veneer (usually single layer of ply) on both its front and back faces. The difference in the way blockboard is made, gives it interesting characteristics and functionality.
- Lighter in weight- The blockboard core is made from solid blocks of wood that is usually obtained from softwood trees such as pine, mango or cedar.
- The advantage of being light-weight is that it can be more easily transported to the end-location. The most common application of this is in the case of doors that we use inside our homes. Doors are very often made from blockboard.
- Lesser tendency to sag or bend- Long plywood pieces tend to bend in the middle, whereas block board is stiffer and less prone to bending. When the board length exceeds 6 or 7 feet, blockboard is generally used instead of plywood.
- Costs Less- It is cheaper than good quality solid wood as well as hardwood plywood.
- Better than Particle Board and even MDF
- Not as strong as plywood or good quality solid wood
- Minor disadvantage for carpenters- In some cases, the blocks (also called strips or battens) that form the core, may have small gaps between them. These gaps cannot be seen from outside since there is layer of veneer on top. Because of this, sometimes the nails that are driven through the board surface may not go into the wood but rather in the gaps between the blocks, which can adversely affect the holding strength of that nail. But this is only a minor drawback, that occurs only sometimes.
4. FIBER BOARD
Fiberboard is a type of engineered wood product that is made out of wood fibers. Types of fiberboard (in order of increasing density) include particle board, medium-density fiberboard, and hardboard.
- Is an excellent substrate for veneers.
- Some varieties are less expensive than many natural woods
- Isotropic (its properties are the same in all directions as a result of no grain), so no tendency to split
- Consistent in strength and size
- Flexible- Can be used for curved walls or surfaces.
- Shapes well.
- Stable dimensions (won’t expand or contract like wood)
- Easy to finish (i.e. paint)
- Denser than plywood or chipboard (the resins are heavy)
- Low grade MDF may swell and break when saturated with water.
- May warp or expand if not sealed.
- Contains urea-formaldehyde, which is a “known human carcinogen” and may cause allergy, eye and lung irritation when cutting and sanding associated with nasal sinus cancer and nasopharyngeal cancer, and possibly with leukaemia in June 2004.
- Dulls blades more quickly than many woods
- Though it does not have a grain in the plane of the board, it does have one into the board. Screwing into the edge of a board will generally cause it to split in a fashion similar to delaminating.
- Subject to significant shrinkage in low humidity environments.
- Trim (i.e. baseboards) comes pre-primed, but this is insufficient for fine finish painting. Painting with latex paints is difficult due to rapid water absorption. Most finishes appear uneven and nail holes tend to pucker.
- A batten is a thin strip of solid material, typically made from wood, plastic or metal.
- Battens are used in building construction and various other fields as both structural and purely cosmetic elements.
- In cabinetry, battens may be used to strengthen panels made up of multiple boards, as in a batten door, or to cover joins.