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Engineered Wood Columbia Forest Products AJ ArtemelPlywood Manufacturing at Columbia Wood Products | Photo by AJ Artemel

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ENGINEERED WOOD /ˌɛndʒəˈnɪərd wʊd/

Engineered woods are structural and non-structural products made from wood and adhesives.  They are generally more dimensionally stable than natural wood due to the absence of grain or directionality.  Varieties of engineered woods include: particleboard, MDF (Medium-Density Fiberboard), hardboard, OSB (Oriented Strand Board), waferboard, and plywood.

Many of these products are able to incorporate a high percentage of reused, recycled, or reclaimed materials.  MDF, for example, can be made from any cellulose product including wood, sawdust, paper and agricultural wastes (chaff, etc.).

Most of these products traditionally relied on formaldehyde-based adhesives such as urea formaldehyde or diiso-methylcyanate, but a law passed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) banning the use of these glues was adopted as a model for future legislation by the U.S. Federal Government.  By 2013, the entire industry will have to have shifted to non-formaldehyde glues.

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