The prospect of magnesium oxide (MgO) panels taking market share in the timber frame sheathing market is increasing following the launch of a product by Glenrothes-based Intelligent Wood Systems (IWS).
The company described it as the final piece of the jigsaw in its
build system designed to prevent the spread of flame in timber
Other recent moves to use MgO products in timber frame include
fire testing of Econicboard, in conjunction with Scotframe and
Walker Timber, within the ValUtherm timber frame system as a
non-combustible internal and external sheathing board.
A further product - Magnaliner - has recently completed a series
of racking tests, which supplier Euroform Building Products Ltd
says now allows it to be used as a non-combustible timber frame
These moves follow concern after several large timber frame
fires on construction sites in recent years and the recent
publication of new UK Timber Frame Association (UKTFA) guidance to
minimise fire risks during the construction stage.
IWS director Doug Cullen told TTJ that its breathable,
non-combustible racking FAST board had been developed with a
Chinese manufacturing partner specifically to meet its requirement
for the timber frame sector.
"It's more expensive than OSB, but it's doing much more than
OSB," he said.
Mr Cullen said MgO board had been used extensively in the steel
frame sector and in many Structural Insulated Panel (SIPS) projects
globlally. But he warned the timber frame sector it was dangerous
to think any MgO board could be used for timber frame, as products
were on the market for a wide variety of applications.
The FAST board has been tested to relevant UK and European
standards, including Euroclass A1 in reaction to fire and Category
1 - BS5268 part 6.1/6.2 for racking resistance.
The board becomes a key component in the IWS/Arch flame
retardant system - as an open panel system - to meet Category C of
the UKTFA's guidance on resistance to fire spread and reduction of
emitted heat to neighbouring properties.
The approved system also comprises use of the fire retardant
system on studs, timber joists and 18mm ply decking. Open-web
joists (MiTek, Gang-Nail, ITW and Wolf) treated with the IWS system
are also approved.
"Timber frame manufacturers do not need to change their current
manufacturing processes to adopt the IWS Cat C option and the
significant increase in robustness to fire comes at negligible
cost, with manufacturers estimating an increase to their current
timber frame panels of circa 4%," said IWS marketing manager Jonny
News Source: http://www.timber-building.com/news/fullstory.php/aid/843/MgO_panels_target_timber_frame_sheathing_market.html