Oriented Strand Board

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Oriented Strand Board used in our Owl box

Oriented strand board (OSB) is a type of engineered wood similar to particle board, formed by adding adhesives and then compressing layers of wood strands (flakes) in specific orientations. It was invented by Armin Elmendorf in California in 1963. OSB may have a rough and variegated surface with the individual strips of around 2.5 cm × 15 cm (1.0 by 5.9 inches), lying unevenly across each other, and is produced in a variety of types and thicknesses.

Properties

Adjustments to the manufacturing process can affect thickness, panel size, strength, and rigidity. OSB panels have no internal gaps or voids, and can be water-resistant, although they do require additional membranes to achieve impermeability to water and are not recommended for exterior use. The finished product has properties similar to plywood, but is uniform and cheaper. When tested to failure, OSB has a greater load-bearing capacity than milled wood panels. It has replaced plywood in many environments, especially the North American structural panel market.

While OSB does not have a continuous grain like a natural wood, it does have an axis along which its strength is greatest. This can be seen by observing the alignment of the surface wood chips.

All wood-based structural use panels can be cut and installed with the same types of equipment as for solid wood.

Uses

We used OSB to build our Owl box.

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