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Knowledge Base

The Hanson Plywood office is often a forum of debate and discussion on all aspects of product classification and suitability for application. Technical knowledge is shared in our efforts to continually improve the service our customers receive. This section of the website aims to make available a lot of the knowledge we have developed and refined from our extensive research and technical discussions.

Our h Quick Reference Guides are available throughout our website with all relevant products.

Please contact our technical department  if there is any information that is unclear, or even if you wish to challenge our understanding. We’re always keen to discuss the technical aspects of our product range.

Please also view our ‘Architects & Specifiers‘ page for more detailed information on our H collection products.

Timber Durability Chart

Please click on the image to view the chart.

Quick Reference Guide - Plywood
Applicable Products
Typical Applications
Service Class
Applicable Standards
Minimum Requirements
Performance Plywood
Birch Plywood
SP101 Plywood
Lightweight Plywood
Far Eastern Type Plywood
(Malaysian/Indonesian/
Chinese)
Performance Plywood
Birch Plywood
SP101 Plywood
Lightweight Plywood
Far Eastern Type Plywood
(Malaysian/Indonesian/Chinese)
Softwood Constructional Plywood (Finnish, Spruce, Elliottis Pine, etc)
Performance Plywood
Marine Plywood BS1088
(3rd party quality assured)
Internal applications with minimal exposure to moisture.
All internal joinery, flooring, underlay, pipe boxing, doors, hatches, weight saving applications etc
Internal applications with temporary exposure during construction.
Construction - floors, flooring underlay, walls, roof decking, linings, hoardings, protection etc
All internal and external joinery which may be submitted to long term exposure to wetting/weather.
Construction - floors, walls, roof decking, soffits, linings, signs, etc
1 - Dry
2 - Humid
3 - Exterior
EN636:2003
EN314-2 Plywood bond quality
EN310 - Bending test
EN13986 - Wood based panels for construction
EN636:2003
EN314-2 Plywood bond quality
EN335 - Durability of wood and wood-based panel products
EN310 - Bending Test
EN13986 - Wood based panels for use in construction
EN636:2003
EN314-2 Plywood bond quality
EN335 - Durability of wood and wood-based panel products
EN310 - Bending Test
EN314-2 Plywood bond quality
Class 1
Class 1
Refer to test data
CE Marked
Class 2
Class 2
Class 2**
Refer to test data
CE Marked
Class 3
Class 3
Class 3**
Refer to test data
CE Marked
Quick Reference Guide – Birch Plywood

Hanson Birch Quick Reference Guide (Typical values collated from Finnish, Russian & Latvian production standards).

Please note that all of the grades below are sanded with the exception of C grade.

Thickness (MM)
4
6
9
12
15
18
21
24
27
30
35
50
Available Grades
Typical Density (kg/m3)
Typical Weight/8x4 (Kg)
Number of Plies
Gluing Options
Thickness Tolerance * * Sanded panels only
S, B, BB, BB/CP, WG
680-720
7.7
3
E1 Int/Ext
+0.3/-0.5
S, B, BB, BB/CP, WG, C
680-720
11.5
5
E1 Int/Ext
+0.4/-0.5
S, B, BB, BB/CP, WG, C
680-720
17.3
7
E1 Int/Ext
+0.4/-0.6
S, B, BB, BB/CP, WG, CP, C
680-720
23
9
E1 Int/Ext
+0.5/-0.7
S, B, BB, BB/CP, WG, CP, C
680-720
28.8
11
E1 Int/Ext
+0.6/-0.8
S, B, BB, BB/CP, WG, CP, C
680-720
34.6
13
E1 Int/Ext
+0.7/-0.9
BB, BB/CP, C
680-720
40.3
15
E1 Int/Ext
+0.8/-1.0
S, B, BB, BB/CP, CP, C
680-720
46.1
17
E1 Int/Ext
+0.9/-1.1
BB
680-720
51.8
19
E1 Int/Ext
+1.0/-1.2
BB, BB/CP
680-720
57.6
21
E1 Int/Ext
+1.1/-1.3
BB/CP
680-720
76.8
25
E1 Int/Ext
+1.05/ - 1.45
BB
680-720
107.1
36
E1 Int/Ext
+ 1.5/- 1.9
*For further detailed information such as structural detail and help with specifications, please contact our technical team.
Quick Reference Guide - MDF

Please note: Under EN 622-5, ‘General Purpose’ refers to products suitable for ‘use in non load-bearing applications’.

Trade Term
Class
Typical Average Density
Application & Climatic Condition
Use Class (EN 335)
General purpose joinery
Simple designs with minimal profile
Humid Conditions
Architectural mouldings - skirting architraves
Deep routed profiles (e.g. membrane pressed PVC doors)
Designs with advanced deep routed profiles and painted finishes
Standard
MDF
700 Kg/m3
General purpose boards for dry conditions
Use Class 1
Yes
Yes
Yes
Trade
L.MDF
625 Kg/m3
Light MDF boards for dry conditions
Use Class 1
Yes
Yes
Ultralight
UL2.MDF
520 Kg/m3
Ultra-light MDF boards for dry conditions
Use Class 1
Yes
Yes
Moisture Resistant
MDF.H
720 Kg/m3
General purpose boards for humid conditions
Use Classes 1 & 2
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Exterior
MDF.H-2
770 Kg/m3
General purpose boards for exterior conditions
Use Classes 1,2 & 3
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Quick Reference Guide - Hardboard

Please note: Under EN 622-2, ‘General Purpose’ refers to products suitable for ‘use in non load-bearing applications’.

Hanson Plywood’s stocks of Hardboard are suitable for HB – General purpose boards for use in dry conditions.

Type
Application & Climatic Condition
Use Class (EN 335)
HB
General purpose boards for use in dry conditions
Use Class 1
HB.H
General purpose boards for use in humid conditions
Use Classes 1 & 2
HB.E
General purpose boards for use in exterior conditions
Use Classes 1,2 &3
HB.LA
Load-bearing boards for use in dry conditions
Use Class 1
HB.HLA1
Load-bearing boards for use in humid conditions
Use Class 2
HB.HLA2
Heavy Duty Load-bearing boards for use in humid conditions
Use Class 2
Quick Reference Guide - OSB
Type
Application & Climatic Conditions
Use Class (EN 335)
OSB/1
Non-Structural, interior fitments including furniture
Use Class 1
OSB/2
Internal, structural applications
Use Class 1
OSB/3
Structural applications similar to those listed above, however OSB/3 is is suitable for use in humid conditions
Use Class 1 & 2
OSB/4
Heavy-duty structural applications in humid conditions
Use Class 1 & 2
Quick Reference Guide - Chipboard (Particleboard)
Type
Application & Climatic Conditions
Use Classes (EN 335)
P1
Internal, non-structural applications
Use Class 1
P2
Internal, non-structural furniture items
Use Class 1
P3
Non-structural applications similar to those listed under P2 above. However, P3 is suitable for use in humid conditions
Use Classes 1 & 2
P4
Internal, structural applications
Use Class 1
P5
Structural applications similar to those listed under P4 above, however P5 is suitable for humid conditions
Use Classes 1 & 2
P6
Heavy-duty internal structural applications
Use Class 1
P7
Heavy-duty structural applications in humid conditions
Use Classes 1 & 2
Quick Reference Guide - Building Boards
Product
Applications
Density
BBA
Internal Use
External Use
Cutting Method
Racking to BS594
Fire rating
Fire Resistant
  • Bathrooms and shower areas
  • Wet and humid areas
  • Swimming pools
  • Passive fire protection boards
  • OSM, pods and park homes
  • Timber frame racking board
  • SIPS fire mitigation sheathing
  • Soffit strips and cavity closures
  • Fire rated stuf partition walls
  • Large sheet tile backer
  • Boiler Banking Board
  • Render carrier board
  • Suitable for use with acrylic brick strips, stone cladding etc
  • Solid fuel surround
1050kg/m³
1050kg/m³
1050kg/m³
1050kg/m³
Score and
snap
Score and
snap
Score and
snap
Score and
snap
A1 Non
combustable
A1 Non
combustable
A1 Non
combustable
A1 Non
combustable
Load and
non-load
bearing
partition
60, 90 and
120 minutes
Non-load
bearing
partition
60 minutes
Quick Reference Guide - Construction Products Regulation (CPR)

The Construction Products Regulation (CPR) came into force on 1st July 2013 and since this date, all wood-based products intended for permanent use in regulated construction work are to be covered by a Harmonised European Standard. They are also required to declare their performance characteristics via CE Marking in order to be placed on the UK and EU construction products markets.

In the case of wood-based panel products, ‘BS EN 13986: 2004 Wood-Based Panels for use in Construction’ refers. Among other things, this standard sets in place a system of conformity for manufacturing processes to meet set requirements and be periodically tested in order to consistently produce wood based panel products that are fit for their intended purpose in construction applications.

To reflect the CPR, section 7 of UK Building Regulations has also been amended to adopt CE Marking as the primary route to show fitness for purpose in the UK.

Products within the scope of the CPR can be identified via CE Marks on the products and/or the delivery notes and full CE marking information along with Declarations of Performance are available on request from our Sales team. Alternatively, please complete an enquiry form with a request for further information and clarification.

Example CE Marking

Quick Reference Guide - EN 13986

EN 13986 is the harmonised European standard for ‘wood-based panels for use in construction’. The standard works to define relevant characteristics and the appropriate test methods to determine these characteristics, for application in the following conditions:

  • internal use as structural components in dry conditions
  • internal (or protected external) use as structural components in humid conditions
  • external use as structural components
  • internal use as non-structural components in humid conditions in dry conditions
  • internal (or protected external) uses as non-structural components in humid conditions
  • external use as non-structural components
  • use as structural floor decking on joists in dry, humid or external conditions
  • use as structural roof decking on joists in dry, humid or external conditions
  • use as structural wall sheathing on joists in dry, humid or external conditions

By meeting EN 13986 and having a factory production certificate from a notified body, a manufacturer can demonstrate that they have sufficiently monitored processes that are regularly tested (the level of testing is determined by the production’s AVCP level) and can therefore CE Mark their product, meeting the Construction Products Regulation in the process.

EN 13986 refers to a series of EN product standards for specifications and requirements for most panels. These standards then proceed to set the minimum requirements and controls to determine the suitable intended purpose of the panel and the intended application conditions. Through this intricate collection of product-related standards, EN 13986 allows wood based panel products to be easily specified in timber structures or construction components.

The table below demonstrates the minimum technical classes for each panel type depending on the intended use and condition. It is worth bearing in mind that with plywood, it is important to check whether a product has been tested for use as structural components or non-structural applications.

Intended Use
Plywood
MDF
OSB
Chipboard
Hardboard
external use as structural components
EN 636-3
-
-
-
-
external use as non-structural components
EN 636-3
-
-
-
-
internal (or protected external) use as structural components in humid conditions
EN 636-2 • EN 636-3
MDF.HLS
OSB/3 • OSB/4
P5 • P7
HB.HLA1 • HB.HLA2
internal (or protected external) uses as non-structural components in humid conditions
EN 636-2 • EN 636-3
MDF.HLS • MDF.H • L-MDF.H
OSB/2 • OSB/3 • OSB/4
P3 • P4 • P7
HB.H • HB.HLA1 • HB.HLA2
internal use as structural components in dry conditions
EN 636-1 • EN 636-2 • EN 636-3
MDF.LA • MDF.HLS
OSB/2 • OSB/3 • OSB/4
P4 • P5 • P6 • P7
HB.LA • HB.H • HB.HLA1 • HB.HLA2
internal use as non-structural components in dry conditions
EN 636-1 • EN 636-2 • EN 636-3
MDF.LA • MDF.HLS • MDF • MDF.H • L-MDF • L-MDF.H • UL-MDF
OSB/1• OSB/2 • OSB/3 • OSB/4
P1 • P2 • P3 • P4 • P5 • P6 • P7
HB • HB.LA • HB.H • HB.HLA1 • HB.HLA2
Quick Reference Guide – Fire Ratings

A question we are frequently asked is which fire rated panel will provide 30 minute or 60 minute fire resistance. The answer of course is not straight forward and although fire rated panels can be used as part of a fire barrier system, such as partitions, the finished design requires additional independent testing to achieve such a rating.

Since the introduction of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) Fire retardant panels are tested against EN13823:2002 (SBI or Single Burning Item Test) and EN11925 (Ignitability Test) and given a rating against their performance.

SBI is the key test and records parameters relating to the rate of fire growth, lateral flame spread, heat release and smoke emission.

There are seven Euroclass Classifications for fire performance of different construction materials ranging from A1 and A2 through to F. Classifications for wood based panel products such as Plywood, MDF and Chipboard include B, C, D and E. Euroclasses D and E relate to untreated material.

Class
Performance Description
Fire Scenario
Heat Attack
Examples of Products
A1
No contribution to fire
Fully developed fire in a room
At least 60kW/m2
Products of natural stone concrete, bricks, ceramic, glass, steel and many metallic products
A2
No contribution to fire
Fully developed fire in a room
At least 60kW/m2
Products similar to those of class A1, including small amounts of organic compounds
B
Very limited contribution to fire
Single burning item in a room
40kW/m2 on a limited area
Gypsum boards with different (thin) surface linings. Fire retardant wood-based panel products
C
Limited contribution to fire
Single burning item in a room
40kW/m2 on a limited area
Phenolic foam, gypsum boards with different surface linings. Flame retardant wood-based panel products (thicker than in class B)
D
Acceptable contribution to fire
Single burning item in a room
40kW/m2 on a limited area
Wood-based panel products with thickness > about 10mm and density > about 400kg/m3 (depending on end use)
E
Acceptable contribution to fire
Small flame attack
Flame height 20mm
Low density fibreboard, plastic based insulation products
F
No performance requirements
Small flame attack
Flame height 20mm
Products not tested (no requirements)