View the FAQ's about Tongue and Groove below.
In case of sheathing with straight-edge panels, an expansion gap of 2-3mm must always be left between the adjacent boards (on all 4 sides) when fixing them to the supports.
If working with T&G milled-edge boards (asymmetrical 2 or 4 sides), this issue is no longer a problem. The T&G profile already has incorporated a 1mm dilatation gap, so this saves time as we skip checking the correct alignment.
Secondly, when using straight-edge boards for floor decking or wall sheathing, the panels must be supported on all 4 edges, in order to reduce deflection and improve the stiffness. This means the long edge of the boards must be fixed on additional supports (noggins).
In case of roof sheathing, the noggins must be replaced by H-clips to reduce deflection between adjacent panels, and additional bracing stripes must be provided for stiffening the structure. This results in additional labor and material costs, which can be eliminated by using T&G boards instead, which require only their short edges to lay on supports.
Learn about moisture behaviour and testing from the FAQ's below.
As any other wood product, OSB exhibits mild dimensional changes (shrinkage or dilatation in length/width) when exposed to changes in moisture and temperature of the surrounding environment.
This effect is covered in the design of the structure by using sufficient expansion gaps. In order to limit the dimensional change effects, different technical classes (types of boards) are available, so that the right board must always be chosen depending on the conditions of each application (external wall, roof).
As a general rule, OSB must always be protected against direct contact with water (rain, snow, infiltrations) during all stages of its intended use – from warehouse to job-site storage, transportation, installation and daily use within the building lifetime.
In the particular case of concrete screeds casted on OSB subfloors, is mandatory to cover the OSB flooring panels with a waterproof membrane, in order to avoid the moisture uptake caused by this wet building process.
Excessive moisture generally favors the creation and spread of fungus and mould inside the building envelope or on the surface of building components and their connections when ventilation is poor (room corners, wall-to-ceiling edge, balconies, etc), but most important is that a moisture content > 18% reduces the load-bearing capacity of the wood structural elements.
The following effects are associated with high moisture in the building elements:
The builder is fully liable for any damage caused by improper protection of the building elements against rain during all stages of construction process.
Anticipation and effective preventive measures for avoiding such unpleasant situation is therefore mandatory.
However, when such situation occurs, the exposed panels and wood components (open beams, studs and rafters) must be covered immediately in the best possible way to limit their soaking, and the water puddles must be drained away as soon as possible by suitable measures.
The protection must be removed only when rain has stopped and no other precipitations are forecasted, so the surface can dry out again. Before proceeding with further installation, loosen strands should be removed by sanding.
It depends on the climatic conditions that are specific to each country, on the type of boards used, and of course, on the duration and intensity of any unexpected rain, that can range from episodic shower to unstopped raining days.
From our experience gained by weathering tests (2 months), depending on the moisture uptake, the OSB/3 and OSB 4 TOP can loose about 20-25% in strength and stiffness when re-dried to moisture content < 18%, which is the limit value for service class 2 panels (humid conditions).
As long as the boards do not exceed 18% in moisture content, it can be assumed that there is no critical effect on the structural use.
Considering the above, max. 8 weeks open construction (exposure to weathering) shall not be exceeded during installation, presuming that only episodic rain shower take place.
From our own experience, the panels that got wet by a normal rain (few hours) must be left to dry-out at least one full day in summer and 2-3 days in autumn, provided that day (days) is/are warm and shiny, so that not very humid.
Learn about the fire behaviour of OSB from the FAQ's below.
Wood and wood-based panels are combustible materials.
Used properly in suitable combination with non-combustible materials, they can provide sufficient protection to the structural elements (columns, beams, floors) of the house, thus allowing these elements to keep unaltered their load-bearing capacity for a longer period of time.
The many studies conducted on improving the fire regulations regarding the structural fire design of buildings allowed wood to be safely used as structural component not even in single-family houses, but also in the erection of office and multi-storey apartment buildings.
EGGER has a very good experience and can provide tested and practical solutions for walls and floors to safely sustain fire to 30-90 minutes. From our own experience, fire resistance up to 45 minutes can be achieved by using only combustible materials, while for higher fire requirements is needed to combine wood-based panels with other non-combustible materials (stonewool, fire-resistant plasterboards, gypsum fibreboards, surface coating with fireproofing agents, etc).
More information regarding fire tested solutions for walls, roofs and floors are available on EGGER’s website and on www.dataholz.com, to which EGGER contributed in the research program.
The standard EN 13501-1 establishes 7 reaction to fire classes of building materials (also known as Euro-classes): A1, A2, B, C, D, E and F, of which A1 & A2 are incombustible.
Standard wood-based panels (including OSB) belong to Euro-classes D and E. The reaction to fire of Eurostrand OSB is:
Classification Without Further Testing (CWFT) is a procedure established for standardized products, based on the extensive research supported by wood-based panels industry.
It can be found in Table 8 from EN 13986.
Essentially, it is a method used for the easy identification of the reaction to fire class (Euroclass) of wood-based panels according to EN 13501-1, and applies to boards of minimal thickness 9mm and densities ρ ≥ 600 kg/m3, when referring to OSB.
For a manufacturer, this means that as long as the product complies with the requirement values given in Table 8, he shouldn’t perform any additional fire testing within the scope of FPC.
However, for OSB boards of thicknesses lower than 9mm and having densities under 600 Kg/m3 (ex: OSB/2, having declared density ρ ≥ 580 kg/m3), CWFT is not applicable, so the panels must be tested by the producer, who is obliged to declare the values and to mark the Euroclass on the panel or on the package.
“s” stands for smoke release, and “d” for burning droplets potential of the product.
There are 3 smoke classes (s1, s2, s3) and 3 burning droplets classes (do, d1, d2) assesed.
The OSB boards classified as CWFT (t ≥ 9mm and ρ ≥ 600 kg/m3) belongs to Euroclass D-s2, do, meaning: normal combustible (D) – medium smoke release (s2) – no burning droplets (do).
The reason why smoke release potential of building products is given so much importance is because smoke and gases produced by combustion are the main killers in a fire.
On the other hand, the potential of a building material to burn with droplets is also important, as they can facilitate the rapid spread of fire to other materials or different sections of the building (typically, from one storey to another, through the façade).
The meaning of burning droplets is:
The current classification used in the harmonized European standard EN 13501-1 for assessing the reaction to fire of building products differs totally than national classification used in the past by each country, that normally classifies the building materials in terms of their combustibility, as incombustible and combustible (with different segmentation, ranging from hardly combustible to heavy combustible & highly flammable).
No, that is impossible.
Fire testing of building materials is strictly regulated by standard procedures, and requires laboratory conditions that cannot be provided empirically, on the job-site.
This comes from the different procedure used when the products have been tested and classified:
Read about the Fungus / Decay / Mould possibilites of OSB below.
Being an engineered panel, manufactured under high pressure and temperature conditions (around 1500C), the wood strands within OSB are totally inert, and no harmful wood pests can survive the process.
If correctly installed in diffusion open cladding systems and sufficient ventilated roofing systems, provided the building is constantly heated, its external walls are sufficient thermally insulated and the rooms are natural aerated on regular basis, mould formation will not occur.
Yes, it can.
To withstand termite attack, OSB has to be treated with special chemical preservation additives.
EGGER can offer termite treated OSB, which is produced successfully for Australian market since 2005.
The boards carry the New South Wales brand certificate for H2 treatment.
According to EN 335 (wood preservation), OSB is not endangered by insects in the usage class 1 & 2.
No preservative treatment against insects decay (except termites) by chemical additives is required.
Learn about the density of EGGER OSB below.
The product standard for OSB (EN 300) does not provide any requirement value for density.
The densities of Eurostrand OSB can be found in the product data-sheets.
Their range: OSB/2 ≥ 580 kg/m3, OSB/3 ≥ 600 kg/m3, OSB 4 TOP = 600-640 kg/m3
Yes. The smaller the thickness, the higher the density, provided however that the minimum density for each board type complies with the product data-sheet.
Density is a property which is related to many other properties of OSB, such as:
All these properties improve with higher density.
Find out about the formaldehyde levels of EGGER OSB below.
Solid wood contains naturally a small amount of formaldehyde, in average < 0,03ppm.
The low-content formaldehyde boards (E1 class, as defined by EN 300), are not hazardous products for human health.
The HCHO content of such panels is limited to maximum 8mg/100g of oven-dry board (single value). Additionally, FPC statistics have to prove that the rolling half-year average of the perforator value (EN 120) does not exceed 6,5mg/100g.
If the chamber method is used for the determination of the formaldehyde content (according to 717-1), then the steady state emission value of HCHO must be ≤ 0,124mg/m3 of surrounding air (or < 0,1ppm). Boards whose HCHO content is exceeding these values belong to formaldehyde class E2.
The European wood-based panel’s manufacturers have committed voluntarily to deliver only E1 boards to the market.
Formaldehyde-free bonded OSB panels are produced using resins that do not add any formaldehyde to the product, such as PMDI (polymeric diphenylmethane diisocyanate).
Although the existing product standard EN 13986 does not officially recognize such a formaldehyde class and refers only to E1 and E2 classes, most manufacturers are "marketing" their formaldehyde-free bonded OSB panels under own brands (ex: E0, TOP, ECO, F****), having the HCHO content < 0,03ppm acc. EN 717-1, that complies with the natural formaldehyde content of solid wood.
Learn about the squeaking possibilities of EGGER OSB below.
No, squeaking can be easily avoided, following the given recommendations:
Squeaking is usually generated by: