Among the durable and appealing construction materials, lumber stands out. For its uses, lumber takeoffs can be availed. But at the same time, it is better not to use lumber for many reasons. These reasons include the price of the material, the effect it put on nature, and its delicate handling, etc. That is why its alternative options are considered. These are cheaper for acquiring and thus put less stress on the project owner. Further, there are different other reasons to opt for these options. These are composite materials made by adding plastic, lumber fiber, and some additive material.
These are avail in various outputs and use in different projects.
Lumber comes from trees. This leads to deforestation that in turn affects the environment badly. Further, this process makes the commercially available material highly expensive for usage. All of this is covered with lumber composites. Like other composite materials, lumber composites are made.
These are mixtures of wood fiber with plastic and binding agent. The final product is heavier, stronger, and has more density. These qualities make them even better for a lot of project uses.
Common Lumber Composites
With different combinations and lumber of different types, various lumber composites are made. Their composition makes them able to provide for a wide range of purposes. Some of the commonly used ones are:
These are boards or sheets made with veneer. In these boards or sheets, multiple thin layers of veneer are glued together. The inner layers are normally taken from softwood while the outer layers are taken from hardwood. These layers are glued in perpendicular patterns. Waterproof phenol-formaldehyde resin adhesive is used to glue the layers together.
OSB (Oriented Strand Board)
These are much similar to plywood. This too includes layers of wood glued together. But the difference lies in the composition of layers. In these, the wood layers from both softwood and hard are mixed together. Also, these sheets are bigger than plywood.
Wood chips are used to make particle boards. The chips are combined with synthetic resin and a binder. The mixture is then the product is compressed to prepare for use. This is a low-density lumber composite.
MDF (Medium-Density Fiberboard)
These are made with residuals of both softwood and hardwood. Through the defibrator, the residuals are changed into fibers. Next, these fibers are combined with wax and resin. This combination is formed into panels through pressure and temperature. Just as the name, this composite holds medium density.
Wood fibers are combined with cellulose fiber. Both of them are glued together to make wood boards. This wood composite holds soundproofing qualities. Hence, it is used for the same purpose in different projects.
Hardboard and Pegboard
In this, the fibers are compressed to the point that smooth and dense boards are made. These boards are stronger and denser than MDF boards. Linseed oil and baking are included in the hardening process if the board is tempered. Pegboard is made from it. These are simply hardboards with a gird of uniform holes drilled for pegs.
These and other lumber composites are used for various purposes due to various reasons.
Lumber is one of the highly used and demanded construction materials. Lumber takeoff can help with the usage of any particular project. But this is in terms of both actual cost and in terms of the cost of nature. To avoid that, various composites are made. These contain different compositions and ingredients. These make them even better than lumber in a number of aspects mainly strength, density, durability, cost, and others. Some of the prominent ones are briefly discussed in the article.