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Enhancing the competitiveness and efficiency of wood-based panels in construction

This project is required to support the European Union policy relating to the Construction Products Directive and the Harmonised Standard for wood-based panel products. The project addresses 12 key issues relating to the structural use of wood-based panels as identified by the European Standardisation Committee CEN TC112. The project has produced new test methodologies, performance data and design factors for implementation by the relevant standardisation committees and industry. It has also provided the wood-based panel industry with important performance and modelling information, which will help them identify key properties to improve product performance and enhance their competitiveness.

The principal objective of this project is to enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of wood-based panels used in construction through:
1) a better understanding of panel properties and behaviour
2) the use of more reliable and consistent test methods at European level
3) facilitating innovation in the use of wood-based panels
4) standardisation of manufacturer-specific performance criteria.

Within the overall objectives, a number of specific sub-objectives are:
Test methodology:
1) to devise methods for reducing the high variability in the results using ENV 1156 through an improved test piece selection methodology based on non-destructive techniques
2) to examine EN314-1 and EN314-2 for improving the evaluation of the wood/glue failure surface in the glue-bond test for plywood
3) to understand the reason for the considerable variability in results of internal bond strength of wood-based panels tested in accordance with EN319, and to derive the test procedure/alternative method which would reduce variability
4) to develop a large-scale test method for determining the performance of wood-based panels in edgewise bending required for their structural application (e.g. I-beams).

Material parameters:
1) to establish the performance database for the large-scale, edgewise-bending test
2) to quantify the influence of time after manufacture on the mechanical performance of cement-bonded particleboard, which strongly influences the calculation of the time-modification factors (KMOD, KDEF) for inclusion in EC5
3) to determine the appropriate values of KMOD and KDEF for the isocyanate-bonded wood panels and to gain more experience in assessing the long-term performance of wood-based panels with the new binder
4) to establish a performance database for creep and duration of load panel, and planar shear required for input into EC5.

Performance in use:
1) to address the safety concerns in EC5 by developing creep and duration of load factors for panels under panel and planar shear loads, and concentrated point loads
2) to simplify supply and demand factors in the EU market for wood-based panels used in flooring by developing a standardised tongue-and-groove profile for jointing boards
3) to integrate the results of national and EU panel research projects into revisions of EC5 and make panel use safer and more efficient.

Progress to Date
The project has been successfully completed. Excellent progress has been made and important outcomes have been achieved in the testing, design and performance of wood-based panels in structural applications.

The results have been compiled in the final report of the project. The report is presented in three volumes that include 12 'stand-alone' work package final reports, written to help facilitate and encourage take-up of the outcomes of the work by relevant standardisation committees and by industry. Each stand-alone report refers to a specific work package or sub-work package within the project and represents a complete report of the objectives, methodology, results, discussions and conclusions from each area of activity.


Scientist responsible for the project

Bucknalls Lane, Garston
WD25 9XX Watford
United Kingdom (The) - GB

Phone: +44 1923 664816
Fax: +44 1923 664785


Project ID QLRT-1999-01640
Organisation Building Research Establishment Ltd
Area 5.1.1
Start date 01 March 2000
Duration (months) 36
Total cost 1 964 517 €
Total EC contribution   981 720 €
Status Completed
Web address of the project

The partners

  • Centre for Timber Technology and Construction, BRE, United Kingdom (The) - GB
  • Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung E.V., Germany - DE

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