OSB or MFP? Materials comparison, advantages and disadvantages

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There are many materials that we can use in construction and finishing work. One of the most popular are chipboards, which are a satisfactory and definitely cheaper alternative to solid wood. Recently on the market appeared also MFP boards. What are the differences between them and what are their basic advantages and disadvantages that we should pay attention to when buying them? 

OSB 

This material has become well established on the construction market, since it has been available for many years. We often reach for it when we want to put up a partition wall, build furniture or create roof sheathing. The name comes from oriented strand board and means that the board was created from wood chips arranged in one specific direction. The process of creation consists in pressing the chips under pressure and joining them using synthetic resin, sometimes polyurethane glue serves as a binder. 

In the case of OSB we can distinguish 5 basic categories: 

  1. OSB1 – the thinnest and most delicate edition unsuitable for almost any major loads, can be used only in interiors, is not resistant to moisture;
  2. OSB2 – slightly thicker than its predecessor, also does not withstand moisture well, so it can only be used in dry rooms, but it definitely withstands loads better. Used mainly in furniture manufacturing;
  3. OSB3 – probably the most popular board, often used in construction and finishing works. It perfectly tolerates loads and does not mind moisture. It is perfect as a partition wall or a structural element; 
  4. OSB4 – the most durable and thus the most expensive type of OSB. Resistant to moisture and capable of withstanding heavy loads. It is also a reliable choice for finishing works;
  5. OSB STOP FIRE – is a fire-resistant variety of chipboard. You can use it wherever you want to improve safety and fire protection. 

Advantages and disadvantages of OSB

Frequent use of this material proves that it has many advantages. These include, among others: resistance to moisture, high weight transfer with a relatively low own weight of the board, easy installation, satisfactory thermal insulation parameters, strength, tightness and elasticity, as well as fire resistance. The main disadvantages of the panels are the need to store them in appropriate conditions and the low content of carcinogenic formaldehyde in their composition. 

MFP 

The younger sister of OSB is often referred to as its improved version. The name comes from MultiFunktions Platte. Its main difference is multi-directional distribution of chips, which makes the structure more flexible and resistant to external factors.

Advantages and disadvantages of MFP boards 

It is multifunctional: you may use it as a partition wall, a base for panels, roof sheathing or to make furniture. Resistant to moisture, with good thermal and acoustic insulation. Easy to install. Thanks to the arrangement of the chips we can cut and shape it to the desired shapes. Resistant to fungal and mold growth, and distinguished by a high level of fire resistance. It has a higher density level than OSB, and after sanding its further processing is much simpler. What is more, it is an ecological material, completely recyclable.

main photo: unsplash.com/Ambitious Creative Co. – Rick Barrett

Peter Bowers

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