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SWISS KRONO OSB: The High-Tech Alternative to Particleboard

A lot of people ask about the benefits of OSB – and what makes it superior to conventional particleboard. SWISS KRONO OSB products are certified, high-performance boards that support a healthy indoor climate when used to construct buildings. Some of them are even food-safe and can therefore be used for packaging etc. Nevertheless, incorrect information about OSB products is occasionally circulated, especially regarding the differences between OSB and particleboard.

In recent years, particleboard has largely vanished from timber construction and DIY applications and been replaced by OSB, and there are many good reasons for this shisft. Unfortunately, various vendors are now attempting to market particleboard products under spurious names such as *SB, *FP and ***board while incorrectly claiming that these are both cheaper and better than OSB. However, they are comparing apples and oranges when contrasting particleboard values that they have measured themselves with OSB values established by DIN EN 300-compliant tests.

To clear up this confusion, here we present verifiable figures on SWISS KRONO OSB and particleboard to let you see the differences for yourself. You can use this information to objectively compare products and knowledgeably inform your customers about the benefits of OSB.

Flexural Strength

Particleboard producers often refer to the transverse loadbearing direction of OSB when making comparisons with their own products. This is misleading, however, because OSB is used nearly in its main loadbearing direction, in which it exhibits significantly better technical values. The argument that a few leftover pieces particleboard can be rotated by 90° doesn’t outweigh the vastly superior structural properties of OSB in the main loadbearing direction.

Loadbearing Ability

SWISS KRONO OSB supports greater loads than particleboard. In practice, this means that thinner boards can do the same work.

Formaldehyde Emissions

Therefore the formaldehyde emissions of SWISS KRONO OSB are not only far below the ceiling established by the E1 European standard, but also comply by a large margin with the more stringent limit of 0.03ppm required by the German Association for Prefabricated Timber Construction (DHV), the Association of German Premanufactured Building Manufacturers (BDF), RAL and others.

Glue (Binder) Content

SWISS KRONO OSB contains considerably less binder than particleboard. The natural resin occurring in pinewood also has a binding effect while making the product much more eco-friendly. Only engineered wood products bonded without formaldehyde (i.e. with PU) may be used under metal coverings etc., as they are less prone to swell or shrink.

Noise Protection

With regard to acoustic insulation, SWISS KRONO OSB and particleboard are directly comparable.

Fire Protection

Despite the high weight per volume of particleboard, its reaction to fire is not significantly better.

Water Vapour Permeability

According to Table 1 of DIN 68800-2:2012-02, the interior sd value must be at least 1m at exterior sd values up to 0.1m, and at least 2m at exterior sd values between that and 0.3m. Particleboard is therefore unsuited for use as exterior boarding on water-vapour-permeable constructions. When it is used as interior boarding, a vapour barrier must be additionally applied.

Summing up, OSB is clearly superior for constructive uses. Particleboard products definitely have advantages for making furniture, but there are very good reasons why they are hardly encountered anymore in timber construction. They lag behind in terms of quality, ease of use and longevity. Here is a summary of the advantages that SWISS KRONO OSB has over particleboard:

  • Greater flexural strength
  • Formaldehyde emissions that are far below the ceilings required by standards
  • Good acoustic insulation
  • Suitability for fire-resistant constructions as per DIN 4102-4
  • Smaller proportion of glue and completely formaldehyde-free binders
  • No additional vapour barrier required

Used with SWISS KRONO WP50 and SWISS KRONO DP50 ceiling and wall boards, which are water-vapour-permeable and have a reinforcing effect, SWISS KRONO OSB permits safe, reliable constructions without also having to install membranes. Special combinations of SWISS KRONO products have been developed for optimal results in walls and ceilings. In contrast to particleboard producers, SWISS KRONO also scores points in tested fire protection constructions.


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