Engineered wood, also known as composite wood, or even man-made wood, is a material that has gained immense popularity as a substitute for concrete, steel, and hardwood recently due to their environmentally-friendly properties and cost efficiency. Constructed of strands, fibres, and particles all bound together to make composite materials held together with suitable adhesives, the wood can be made of materials ranging from wood waste to sugarcane rice straw.
In many recent construction projects, engineered wood, able to designed and customised as per the demands of the end user, replaced steel beams. Although mainly used by architects and designers, contemporary promotions of green living and new regulations such as those regarding deforestation and afforestation, as well as CO2 emission standards have resulted in the rapid growth of the global engineered wood market and are pushing the market to a completely different level. Moreover, constant innovations in technologies and machining systems to improve the quality of the products are expected to drive market growth even further.
But while the market faces nearly endless potential opportunities, the challenges many manufacturers face are not easy, such as the fire-resistant properties of the wood, as well as its durability. Additionally, some adhesives much like urea-formaldehyde, which is used in the production of engineered wood, is toxic.
However, these challenges have not stopped the growth of the global engineered wood market, according to LANEWS. Instead, North America is a significant market for plywood and oriented strand boards (OSB), and Europe’s market for glue-laminated timber (glulam) and I-beams is one of the largest in the world – and still growing.
Furthermore, industrialisation and urbanisation in densely populated developing countries such as India and China have seen notable growth in their engineered wood markets, with more growth to come.