Composite products have brought a new debate of preference – original woof or composite materials?
They both have their profits and shortcomings, but with newer applications, the composite edge is being explored much better.
Wood has its appeal for natural texture and strength. But here we will look into wood composites and how they can be potential wood substitutes. Especially, what wood composites are, their varieties, and their applications.
What is Wood Composite?
Wood composites are basically wood products that are combined by combining wood strands, fibers, or slabs together. It is also known as engineered wood, synthetic wood, and wood-plastic composite (WPC).
The varieties of Wood Composite Products
Plywood is the pioneer of composite wood products, which is manufactured from cross-laminated veneer sheets joined with water proof adhesives and sealed in heat.
Particleboard is made with wood chips or sawmills, compressed with synthetic resin.
While Fiberboars, are made by mixing wood fibers with a combination of wax and resin in high temperatures and pressures.
The Oriented Strand Board comprises of layers of wood strands glued together with waterfproif adhesives. These are later cross-oriented to the panel for improved strength and rigidity.
Laminated timber on the other hand is made up with dimensional wood that is glued to make column or beams.
Whereas, Laminated Veneers are made of thin veneers that are bonded together to form a vast bilet that can be used for rafters, beams, joints.
Wide applications of Wood Composite Materials
Composite wood products can be utilised in a plethora of applications, including the residential and commercial buildings.
In construction works, wood composites are often used to substitute steel joists and beams. Outdoor deck flooring is also the most common application, but they are mostly popular for fencing, benches, door frames as well as landscaping
While composite wood is usually seen as a substitute, it is also a quite useful for flat-pack furniture because of low making costs and its lighter weight.