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OSB production - right before the press
Steel frame construction clad with OSB panels

Coarse chipboard , also OSB boards (English for oriented strand board or oriented structural board , "plate from aligned chips") are wood-based materials that are made from long, slender chips (strands). The inventor was Armin Elmendorf in 1963. They were originally a waste product of the veneer and plywood industry.


Coarse chipboard is manufactured in industrial plants as follows.

Chip preparation
The chips (strands) are cut lengthways from the debarked round wood using rotating knives.
The natural moisture of the chips is reduced at high temperatures. This is necessary in order to be able to wet the chips with sufficient binding agent afterwards. In addition, there must not be too much moisture in the chips during the pressing process, as otherwise the resulting steam pressure could burst the raw panel.
The binding agent is applied finely to the chips in a gluing machine .
The chips, which are about 100-200 mm long, 10-50 mm wide and 0.6-1.5 mm thick, are scattered lengthways and crossways using the throwing method so that they are arranged crosswise in three layers.
The panels are mostly produced on continuous presses under high pressure and high temperature (press temperature 200–250 ° C).

For bonding are PF binder (USA), MUPF binder (melamine-urea-phenol-formaldehyde) and PMDI binder used, especially for reasons of quality, the proportion of PMDI predominates. PMDI is very often used in the middle layer and MUF or MUPF binders in the top layers.


OSB panel

The bending strength is higher due to the long and slim chips than with normal flat pressed panels (chipboard). Due to the high proportion of adhesive, the OSB board has a comparatively high water vapor diffusion resistance μ of 200 (wet) or 300 (dry). The chip structure gives the OSB board its characteristic appearance, which makes it usable not only for "invisible" use, but also for decorative areas of application. In this regard, the effect of formaldehyde vapors on indoor air quality must be taken into account . The bulk density is about 600 to 700 kg / m³ depending on the intended use of the panels and is subject to production-related fluctuations.


Surface of an OSB board

OSB panels are used as building panels in the shell construction and in interior work as wall or roof paneling. In the floor area they serve as an installation plate (tongue and groove profile). However, special panels should be laid for installation above underfloor heating , because the risk of panel warping due to the panels drying out on one side is very high. In exposed floors, in loft extensions and as facades , they are used for decorative purposes due to their distinctive appearance, also in furniture construction for shelves and frames. In addition, they are used for packaging (boxes) and as formwork for concrete.

Economical meaning

The 10 largest OSB production countries in each case

Chipboard is of great economic importance in America. 95 percent of all OSB panels were manufactured in North America in the 1990s and were mainly used in house construction. Due to the economic slump in North America in particular, but also due to the expansion of additional capacities in Eastern Europe, this ratio has meanwhile shifted, so that in 2016 30 percent of the OSB panels produced were produced outside North America. In 2016, OSB board production in North America was around 20.7 million m³, in Europe 8.1 million m³, of which around 1.4 million m³ in Germany and around 0.8 million m³ in Asia.


The EN 300 standard defines the following classes according to their mechanical properties and relative moisture resistance:

  • OSB / 1: panels for interior construction (including furniture) for use in dry areas
  • OSB / 2: boards for load-bearing purposes for use in dry areas (no longer in trade since 2014)
  • OSB / 3: Boards for load-bearing purposes for use in areas with moisture
  • OSB / 4: Heavy-duty panels for load-bearing purposes for use in areas with moisture

Another possibility to enable OSB panels to be used in the construction sector is to monitor them as part of a general building inspection approval from the German Institute for Building Technology (short form Z-9.1-XXX). The technical requirements for the panels are summarized in a manufacturer-specific approval document, which is the basis for further production monitoring.

The following two formaldehyde classes are listed in the harmonized standard (EN 13986) for OSB (determination according to EN 120 "Perforator method", ENV 717-1 "Bottle method" and EN 717-2 "Gas analysis method"):

  • Class E1: ≤ 8 mg formaldehyde per 100 g material
  • Class E2: 8 to 30 mg formaldehyde per 100 g of material

In Germany, wood-based materials of emission class  E2 are not permitted.


  • H.-J. Deppe K. Ernst: Pocket book of chipboard technology , 4th revised and expanded edition, DRW-Verlag, Leinfelden-Echterdingen 2000, ISBN 3-87181-349-4 .
  • Susanne Renz: Wood-based material OSB. Die Bibliothek der Technik Vol. 307, Verlag Moderne Industrie, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-937889-68-9 .
  • Peter Niemz, André Wagenführ: Materials made of wood. In: André Wagenführ, Frieder Scholz: Taschenbuch der Holztechnik. Specialized book publisher at Carl Hanser Verlag, Leipzig 2008; Pp. 127-259. ISBN 978-3-446-22852-8 .
  • Manfred Dunky, Peter Niemz: Wood-based materials and glues. Springer Verlag, Heidelberg 2002, ISBN 3-540-42980-8 .

Web links

Commons : Chipboard  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Document US000003164511A (PDF) German Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  2. SterlingOSB-Zero - Of course wood and expansion. ( Memento of the original from February 28, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Product brochure. Norbord, Genk / Belgium September 2008, on, p. 8, accessed on February 12, 2017 (PDF; 1.42 MB).  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. European Association of Wood-Based Materials (EPF) and Association of the German Wood-Based Panels Industry (VHI). Holz-Zentralblatt May 13, 2009 and May 14, 2009.
  4. WPC boom in spite of the Europe-wide slowdown in wood-based materials - wood-plastic composites in Germany with 78% increase in production. In: Bio-Based News. May 14, 2009, from, accessed on February 12, 2017.