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.