The effect of high temperature and long pressing time on the dimensional stability and decay resistance of OSB
G J Goroyias, M D C Hale
The exterior use of OSB is restricted because when it is exposed to wet conditions swelling, loss of internal bond strength (IB) and decay occur. In this study an alternative process of pressing which results in the production of dimensionally stable and a more decay resistant strandboard was investigated. Boards were pressed at elevated temperatures for prolonged pressing cycles and their physical (thickness swelling and water absorption after 2 and 24 hours soak), mechanical properties (IB, MOR, MOE) and decay resistance were assessed. Analysis of variance (ANOVA, p=0.005) between pressing time/temperature and each property tested were used for the assessment of the results.
The decay resistance of the boards was tested according to a draft European standard (DD ENV 12038: 1996) with a slight modification to the sample size. Boards were tested against Coniophora puteana, Postia placenta, Trametes versicolor and Pleurotus ostreatus.
The results of this study showed that the increase of pressing time and temperature resulted in significant reductions in the thickness swelling and water absorption of the boards. The treatment had little effect on board mechanical properties.
The resistance to fungal biodegradation was significantly improved at the higher temperature / pressing time combinations tested. The results of this study show that the production of a dimensionally stable and a more decay resistant OSB is possible without excessive use of preservative chemicals. If adopted these findings may lead to the development of new wood-based panel products (non-preserved dimensional stable and decay resistant hazard class 3-OSB) which may replace preservative treated plywood and solid wood for many exterior construction applications.