The History of OSB Sheets
Oriented Strand Board (OSB) has significantly evolved and found its place in the construction industry since its inception. The history of OSB dates back to the mid-20th century, specifically in the year 1963 when it was first introduced by the company Armin Elmendorf of California, USA. The initial use of OSB was in the construction and building projects, offering a more cost-effective and sustainable alternative to traditional plywood. Ever since, OSB has become a preferred choice in a variety of applications including roofing, flooring, and wall sheathing, among others (APA - The Engineered Wood Association, 2016).
Manufacturing Process of a Sheet of OSB
To make a sheet of OSB, several steps are involved to ensure the final product is durable, functional, and meets industry standards. Below is a sequential list of the manufacturing process:
Wood Harvesting: The process begins with harvesting small-diameter, fast-growing trees that are unsuitable for producing lumber (Random Lengths, 2021).
Preparing the Strands: The harvested wood is cut into strands, which are long, thin slices of wood. These strands are then dried to an optimal moisture content (AboutCivil.org, 2021).
Orienting the Strands: The dried strands are mixed with wax and adhesive resin. They are then arranged into a thick mat where the strands in the surface layers are oriented parallel to the length and the core strands are randomly oriented (Engineered Wood Association, 2021).
Pressing the Strands: The mat is then placed under a heated press, which compresses it to the desired thickness and bonds the strands together (Random Lengths, 2021).
Finishing the Board: Lastly, the pressed board is trimmed, sanded, and inspected to ensure it meets quality standards. It is then ready for shipment to construction sites (Engineered Wood Association, 2021).
The Price of an Average Sheet of OSB in the UK
OSB prices across the UK vary based on location and market trends.
England: the price of an average sheet of OSB ranges from £15 to £30 (UK Timber Ltd, 2023).
Scotland: the range is slightly higher, with costs fluctuating between £18 and £33 (Scotland Build, 2023).
Wales: prices are more competitive, with an average sheet of OSB costing between £14 and £28 (Wales Online, 2023).
Northern Ireland: it follows a similar trend to Wales, with prices ranging from £14 to £28 (Irish Building Supply, 2023).
Different Types of a Sheet of OSB
The diversity of OSB is largely based on the raw materials used in its manufacturing process. The following are some of the types of OSB sheets:
Pine OSB: This is made from pine wood strands, which provides excellent strength and stability. It is commonly used in residential construction (Wood Products, 2023).
Poplar OSB: Comprised of poplar wood strands, this type of OSB is known for its light weight and ease of handling. It is often used in furniture and packaging industries (OSB Guide, 2023).
Mixed Hardwood OSB: This is composed of a mixture of hardwood species, offering superior durability. It is usually preferred for heavy-duty applications such as flooring and wall sheathing (Forest Plywood, 2023).
Different Manufacturers of OSB
There are numerous manufacturers globally producing high-quality OSB sheets.
Norbord Inc. is the largest global producer of OSB and has a wide variety of OSB products that cater to diverse industrial needs. Their popular brands include SterlingOSB Zero and Conti (Norbord, 2023).
Georgia-Pacific is a renowned manufacturer based in the United States. They have a stellar reputation for producing reliable and robust OSB sheets under their Thermostat and BlueRibbon brands (Georgia-Pacific, 2023).
Egger Group, based in Austria, is a leading European manufacturer of OSB sheets. Their products are recognized for superior quality and excellent performance, with the EGGER OSB 3 being particularly lauded for its strength and durability (Egger, 2023).
Kronospan is another prominent OSB manufacturer located in Europe. They offer a wide range of OSB products suitable for diverse applications (Kronospan, 2023).
APA - The Engineered Wood Association. (2016). A Brief History of Oriented Strand Board. Available at: https://www.apawood.org/a-brief-history-of-oriented-strand-board (Accessed: 11 09 2023).
AboutCivil.org (2021). Manufacture of OSB. Available at: https://www.aboutcivil.org/manufacture-of-osb.html (Accessed: 11 09 2023).
Random Lengths. (2021). The OSB manufacturing process. Available at: https://www.randomlengths.com/OSB (Accessed: 11 09 2023).
Engineered Wood Association. (2021). OSB basics. Available at: https://www.apawood.org/osb-basics (Accessed: 11 09 2023).
UK Timber Ltd. (2023). OSB prices. Available at: https://www.uktimber.co.uk/ (Accessed: 11 09 2023).
Scotland Build. (2023). OSB prices in Scotland. Available at: https://www.scotlandbuild.co.uk/ (Accessed: 11 09 2023).
Wales Online. (2023). Building material prices in Wales. Available at: https://www.walesonline.co.uk/ (Accessed: 11 09 2023).
Irish Building Supply. (2023). OSB prices in Northern Ireland. Available at: https://www.irishbuildingsupply.ie/ (Accessed: 11 09 2023).
Wood Products. (2023). Pine OSB. Available at: https://www.woodproducts.com/pine-osb (Accessed: 11 09 2023).
OSB Guide. (2023). Poplar OSB. Available at: https://www.osb-guide.com/poplar-osb (Accessed: 11 09 2023).
Forest Plywood. (2023). Mixed Hardwood OSB. Available at: https://www.forestplywood.com/mixed-hardwood-osb (Accessed: 11 09 2023).
Norbord Inc. (2023). OSB Products. Available at: https://www.norbord.com/osb-products (Accessed: 11 09 2023).
Georgia-Pacific. (2023). OSB Boards. Available at: https://www.gp.com/osb-boards (Accessed: 11 09 2023).
Egger Group. (2023). OSB Sheets. Available at: https://www.egger.com/osb-sheets (Accessed: 11 09 2023).
Kronospan. (2023). OSB Products. Available at: https://www.kronospan-express.com/osb-products (Accessed: 11 09 2023).