Putting post-treated OSB panels in the hot seat on CE Marking

Like all other construction products, OSB panels have a legal requirement under the Construction Products Regulation to be CE Marked in order to be sold in Europe.

However some technologies being used to post-treat wood panels to make them flame retardant can have a destructive effect on the panel itself, meaning their finished state may not be in accordance with the performance requirements of the harmonised EN 13986 standard. They should be retested after treatment, and a Declaration of Performance issued confirming their revised attributes to maintain their CE Mark. If this is not happening consistently, what does it mean for product performance?

SmartPly FR OSB3 panels were developed to meet a growing demand for flame retardant OSB within timber constructions. SmartPly FR OSB achieves Euroclass-C performance for wall, ceiling, roofing and free-standing applications, as well as Euroclass-BFL for flooring. Thanks to the advanced manufacturing process the panels have flame retardation built in, with the proven water-based eco-friendly Zeroignition Solution being added to the individual strands which compose the panels during manufacture rather than post treatment of a finished panel. Fully integrating the treatment within the panel in this way means that they retain the same physical performance and strength as all OSB3 manufactured by SmartPly.

Other wood panel products which have gone down the post-treatment route to flame retardance may appear CE Marked for structural performance in the same way as SmartPly FR OSB, however this could be misleading. Some products are CE Marked post-manufacture but before being treated, yet there are widely-known issues with deterioration of mechanical and physical characteristics resulting from pressurised impregnation of fire retardants into wood panels post-manufacture.

In order to give specifiers a true indication of products’ post-treatment performance it is essential they are structurally reassessed and CE Marked following treatment in order to comply with the Construction Products Regulation. There have been instances where panel processors have claimed that the products are CE Marked based upon the original pre-treatment performance assessment, incorrectly reflecting their finished state.

It is the specifier’s responsibility to ensure the products they choose meet all relevant regulations, and SmartPly FR OSB gives them confidence that every panel leaves the factory CE marked, fully certified, validated by third party independent notified bodies and with the relevant fire classification and declaration of performance.

As well as complying with Euroclass performance requirements for Reaction to Fire SmartPly FR OSB3 panels maintain structural integrity to EN 13986 requirements. The products are manufactured from locally grown and legally harvested FSC certified sustainable timber and comply with the EU Timber Regulation.

Posted by Mike Harrison, Marketing Manager - Medite - SmartPly