Wood products are an essential part of our daily life. Wood products are used in large objects such as cottages, high-rise buildings, infrastructure, furniture, floorings, berths, and floor coverings, as well as small items such as tree houses, accessories, toys, hand tools, tableware and even jewelry. LIGNO promotes the concept of sustainable use of forest resources in Ukraine and in the world.
Using harvested wood instead of other materials has become one of the easiest ways to contribute to reducing carbon emissions because:
– trees absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and store it as carbon;
– harvested mature trees store carbon in buildings and wood products;
– more trees are being planted and the amount of carbon stored in forests continues to grow.
Where are wood products manufactured?
The pulp and wood processing industries produce essential and innovative products for everyday use. After the wood is harvested, all types of paper, cardboard and wood products are produced from it. The bark is removed from the prepared logs, then sawn into beams and boards. Some wood can be crushed and converted into paper products. In addition, wood residues from the production process are used to generate electricity in solid fuel boilers, thereby ensuring that there is no waste.
Typically, the core of high-quality wood is used to make higher value products such as veneers and large-sized lumber. The sapwood is used in wooden pallets and small-sized sawn timber. Thin crown and logs not suitable for sawing are processed into chips, which are converted into wood pulp for paper products such as packaging, napkins, copy paper, etc.
Small branches and tree crowns can sometimes be used as fuel for woody biomass, but the woodworking industry also leaves some felling residue in the forest to improve soil quality, retain moisture and provide habitat for wildlife.
What are the types of wood products?
Wood is used in a wide range of products and means, some of which we do not even know or do not think about. Usually, wood is converted into various materials after harvesting.
Lumber. This wood in the form of beams or planks of a certain size and quality, has at least two flat parallel layers obtained by longitudinal sawing of logs. It can be softwood or hardwood lumber, and the use of lumber depends on the type of wood. Lumber is commonly used in construction, but can also be used in furniture, joinery, flooring, and so on. Lumber is usually classified by thickness and length.
Structural wood products. These products are a combination of wood or wood by-products and various adhesives for their production. This is an overarching category of many types of products that have very wide use. Structural wood products include plywood, chipboard, laminate, structural composite lumber, fibreboard, cross-laminated timber, prefabricated wood I-beams, laminated veneer lumber and many other similar products.
Structural composite lumber. Structural Composite Lumber (SCL) is made by splicing of flat or block wood blanks in the groove or along the layer with glue, later, the resulting blanks are cut to the required dimensions. Common types of structural composite lumber are laminated veneer lumber, spike / smooth jointer / bed slats, and the like. They are used to make building products from wood such as wall materials, rafters, beams, ceilings, etc.
Wood slab products. There are both structural and non-structural board materials. For example, plywood and oriented strand board (OSB) can be used in construction, while particle board and medium density fibreboard (MDF) are mainly used in furniture or joinery.
Glued solid timber. It is a new and innovative approach in timber construction, where large timber beams and thick panels are used for walls and roofs and allow buildings to be built much higher than traditional frame construction methods commonly associated with timber construction. Solid wood types include cross-laminated timber (CLT), glued laminated timber (glulam), nail laminated timber (NLT) and dowel-laminated timber (DLT). Structural Composite Lumber (SCL) of a certain size can meet the requirements of the solid wood building codes.
Did you know that the woodworking industry uses almost all parts of wood in the production process, and wood by-products and the chemical constituent of wood, cellulose, are used not only in building materials and paper products? The production process generates sawdust and chips that can be used as fuel for electrical power stations or used in composite wood products. In addition, wood-based products such as paper sheets, napkins, printing and container board are made from woody biomass. Chemically treated wood produces cellulose, which is used in products such as LCD screens or rayon textiles. Efficient wood processing minimizes waste in the production process and provides valuable wood products that you use in your daily life.
What are the benefits of wood products?
Wood products are environmentally friendly
Wood products are made from a renewable resource such as trees that are replanted to ensure sustainable forest management. Moreover, wood processing is less energy and carbon-based than competing materials such as concrete and steel. Wood products also store carbon. This means that as it grows, wood absorbs carbon, and when wood turns into building materials, carbon has been in the finished materials for decades. In addition, studies have shown that wood construction generates less greenhouse gas emissions than other materials.
Wood products preserve forests
The demand for wood products helps to preserve the forest as a natural ecosystem. Through sustainable forest management, forest managers responsibly harvest and plant new trees, conserving wildlife, plant diversity, and the ability of forests to create catchments and absorb carbon.
Using fewer wood and paper products reduces the incentive to replant trees after harvesting and conserving forests and increases the likelihood of their use for other purposes, such as building plots, industrial areas, pastures, and the like.
Wood products are innovative
There is a growing demand for more sustainable, renewable solutions for our living environment, and the woodworking industry is meeting this demand with wood. Modern designers, constructors, engineers, and researchers are watching the successful implementation of multi-story timber structures in Australia, Canada, Europe and other parts of the world, helping to spread new experiences.
The strength-to-weight ratio of wood is higher than that of steel and contains only a small fraction of internal energy. Wood provides the durability and earthquake resistance required for tall timber buildings while also providing fire resistance according to building codes. Solid wood products have characteristics of fire resistance, which makes it of great importance when used in construction.
How are wood products made?
Firstly, timber is harvested from forests or plantations, which means cutting down a certain area of the forest landscape. The branches and leaves of the harvested trees are removed and left to shelter and provide nutrients to the new trees. The tree trunk is then cut to the required lengths for loading and transport to the sawmill.
The logs are loaded onto a conveyor, which takes them to the sawmill, where the bark is removed from them with special grinding wheels or high-pressure water while the log rotates. The resulting tree bark can be used as garden mulch or burned as boiler fuel.
Further, the logs are cut on a sawmill, which usually has a computer control and a laser ruler, logs are cut into unedged boards of various thicknesses to increase the useful output of lumber. Then rough unedged boards are stacked in stacks due length and type. Some of the wastes that have been generated at this stage (slabs / defective boards with cracks or protruding knots) of certain lengths and rocks can be used as fuel. Quality boards are loaded into drying chambers for drying to guarantee the quality of the products to the customer. Next, the dried edged boards go through a planer, which turns the rough lumber into finishing and sorting is carried out again. Finally, the lumber is folded and strapped to prepare it for shipment.
To make such a product from wood as plywood, the sanded logs are loaded onto a conveyor, where the veneer is peeled, this is the process of converting a block (short logs) into very thin long sheets, and then the veneer is cut to the required dimensions. Then the veneer sections are folded by grade and sent to the dryer.
After the veneer sheets have dried, they are laid in layers for gluing. The glued sheets are loaded into a hot press to solidify the final product and are pressed together under heat pressure to cure the adhesive. At the end of the plywood production process, the plywood sheets are cut to a standard length and the surfaces are sanded.
There are many other wood products and technologies for their production. Read more on the latest news from the forestry, woodworking, furniture, construction, and bioenergy industries in our blog. You can view the full catalog of wood products above on this page.