FAQs

  • Products
    • What is a Particleboard?
      A particleboard (PB) is a board made from wood particles joined by synthetic resins, under high pressure and temperatures. It consists of three layers and has a smooth, uniform surface. It can be used without any finish (raw product), or it can be finished in melamine, wood veneer or laminate, making it a very versatile product for use in furniture or in construction.
    • What does MDF mean?
      MDF stands for Medium Density Fibreboard. This product is made by binding wood fibres with synthetic resins, in a drying process, with hot pressing. It has high mechanical resistance and more dimensional stability than a particleboard. It can be used as a raw or finished product, both in furniture and in construction.
    • What does the term OSB mean?
      OSB means Oriented Strand Board. This is a panel made by overlapping three layers of long wood strands, placed perpendicularly to each other, giving a structurally dense product that is very resistant, dimensionally stable and very durable in comparison to other wood-based products.
    • Which types of OSB exists?
      According to the European standard EN 300, which defines the OSB quality, there are four quality levels:
      • OSB 1: general purpose boards or for interior fitments (including furniture) for use in dry conditions.
      • OSB 2: load-bearing boards for use in dry conditions.
      • OSB 3: load-bearing boards for use in humid conditions.
      • OSB 4: boards with the highest requirements, namely heavy-duty boards for load-bearing purposes for use in humid conditions.
    • What are the main features of OSB?
      OSB boards have excellent mechanical properties. They have a relatively low weight and are extremely stable. OSB 3 and OSB 4 are used, for example, as stiffening and vapor-damping panels in structures. OSB 3 is particularly suitable for floors.
      OSB 2 is mainly used in the packaging industry as well as in furniture and shelving. OSB 2 panels can also be used for ceilings and wall coverings.
    • What is Laminate (HPL)?
      HPL means High Pressure Laminate. This is a panel made from layers of fibrous cellulose material (normally paper), impregnated with thermoset resins and joined together through a high pressure and temperature process. It consists of approximately 65% kraft paper and 35% thermoset resin. High pressure laminates are very versatile in patterns and textures and can be used under conditions of high wear or impact.
    • What are Sandwich panels?
      This ready-to-use decorative panel is a quick solution for indoor use in furniture and wall finishes. A Sandwich panel is a particleboard laminated on both sides. It allies the performance and resistance of laminates to the ease of use and versatility of a ready-to-use decorative panel.
    • What are products with a melamine finish?
      A board with a melamine surface is basically the combination of a raw board (substrate) – PB or MDF - and a sheet of decorative paper on each side of the board. This decorative paper is impregnated with melamine resin, which is later “stuck” to the board using a hot pressing process.
      The resistance and versatility of the raw boards – PB or MDF – are thus enriched by the aesthetics of a vast collection of designs and patterns, resulting in decorative products that are easy to use and maintain, with excellent scratch and scuff resistance.
    • What is the difference between laminated products and melamine products?
      Laminates consist of sheets (normally of paper) impregnated with thermoset resins joined to each other through a high pressure and temperature process. Melamine, on the other hand, is a decorative sheet impregnated with melamine resin, pressed at low pressure on to particleboard or MDF. It is therefore less resistant than laminates.
    • What are postformable laminates?
      Postformable laminates are mouldable products, which means they can be bent when heated on specific equipment. Thus, they can be used in a wide range of applications, particularly furniture, for horizontal and vertical finishes.
    • Which finishes are available for decorative products?
      Sonae Arauco has a total range of 16 finishes, providing versatility in project design. See available finishes here.
    • What are fire retardant products?
      These are products that have an improved reaction to fire. Fire reaction requirements are based on Euroclasses, which are established in European standard EN 13501-1.
    • What are moisture resistant products?
      These are products with improved moisture behaviour, but this does not mean they are water resistant. During production, a different type of glue is used, producing boards with improved moisture resistance.
    • What does Innovus Coloured MDF mean?
      Innovus Coloured MDF offers interior designers, designers and processors greater creative freedom when it comes to making the spaces unique. The product convinces by its tonalities, as well as its extraordinary colour stability and resistance to the light. Innovus Coloured MDF can be processed universally: it is easy to saw, mill paint and coat. In addition, our pigmented MDF has a high bending and tensile strength. More information on Innovus Coloured MDF can be found here.
    • Is there edgebanding available to match with Innovus decors?
      We work together with well-known edge banding manufacturers and have optimally matched our edge assortment to all products of the Innovus range. Please verify our partners here.
  • Sustainability / Certifications
    • Are products from Sonae Arauco environmentally friendly?
      Yes! At Sonae Arauco, we are committed with the sustainable use of raw materials and actively respecting these principles throughout the company's production process. Sonae Arauco wood-based products can help consumers to get credits for achieving a LEED certification, which is a programme developed by the U.S. Green Building Council that certificates the sustainability of buildings and the way they are planned, constructed and maintained. Furthermore, our products are available with FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) or PEFC™ certification.

      We believe in efficient value chains, which provide an incentive for investment and active forest management. The wood-based panels contribute to a sustainable consumption of forest resources, especially since they:

      • are an alternative to solid wood;
      • are flexible in shape and tailor made;
      • have a significantly lower impact on the environment compared to other building materials such as steel and concrete;
      • have a positive effect on global warming due to improved energy efficiency;
      • can be used in construction for carbon capture and storage, thereby helping to reduce CO2 emissions
      • can be recycled at the end of their useful life and processed into new products in a continuous recycling process.


    • Is Sonae Arauco committed to sustainable forestry?
      Yes! As a wood-based panel manufacturer, Sonae Arauco attaches utmost importance to the sourcing of timber products from sustainable forest management. We not only pay attention to compliance with general quality requirements but also to optimized logistic processes in order to avoid unnecessary transports that may impact on the environment. In its value chain management, Sonae Arauco procures FSC®-/ PEFCT™ -certified raw timber assortments to use in its products.
    • Are Sonae Arauco products certified by FSC® and PEFC™?
      Sonae Arauco offers FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) and PEFC™ certified wood-based products. The corresponding certificates can be viewed here.

      Offered, delivered or sold products are only available in the scope of the certificate, if the corresponding note on invoice and delivery documents are clearly listed.
    • What does FSC® mean?
      FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) is a non-profit organisation of international scope, dedicated to the promotion of responsible forest management all over the world. FSC® Chain of Custody Certification applies to manufacturers, processors and distributors of forest products and it verifies the traceability of FSC® certified materials and products throughout the production chain. For further information, go to: www.fsc.org
    • What does PEFC™ mean?
      PEFC™ is a non-profit government organisation dedicated to promoting Sustainable Forest Management and its certification by an external (third-party) entity - Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification™. PEFC™ operates along the entire supply chain of forest products to promote best forest management practices and ensure that wood, cork and non-timber forest products are produced according to the best ethical, ecological and social standards. Thanks to PEFCTM label, clients and consumers can identify products coming from sustainably managed forests. For further information, go to: www.pefc.org
    • What does LEED® mean?
      LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an international system for certification and environmental guidelines for buildings. Created by the U.S. Green Building Council, it is an internationally recognised seal of approval and the most widely used in the world, providing independent verification that a building was designed and built using strategies that promote a sustainability approach, recognising performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable local development, water efficiency, energy efficiency, selection of materials and indoor environmental quality. For further information, go to: www.usgbc.org/leed
    • DoP – Declaration of Performance
      The Declaration of Performance is a fundamental part of the Construction Products Regulations in that it provides information on the performance of a product, thus contributing to increasing transparency. Each construction product covered by a harmonised European standard or for which a technical European assessment has been issued must have this declaration and should also include CE Marking.
      More information at: ec.europa.eu/growth/sectors/construction/product-regulation/performance-declaration
  • Technical Product Specifications
    • How is the formaldehyde content measured?
      The total formaldehyde content in Sonae Arauco products is measured using the perforator method specified in EN 120. In this test, the formaldehyde present in the sample is extracted using toluene and determined using a photometric method. The results are expressed in milligrams of formaldehyde per 100 grams of board (mg/100 g).
    • What is an F4* class product?
      This class of formaldehyde applies primarily to wood used in construction or furniture and decoration objects designed for spaces subject to restricted regulations regarding indoor air quality. It corresponds to a product with very low formaldehyde content (0.03 mg/l) in accordance with Japanese legislation - test method JIS A 1460.
    • Do Sonae Arauco products meet fire performance requirements?
      All Sonae Arauco panels are tested and certified according to international standards. The test used is called Single Burning Item (SBI), as described in EN 13823, and allows the performance of the product when exposed to a thermal attack to be determined, i.e. what contribution the material makes to the source and spread of fire.
    • Do Sonae Arauco produce high gloss products?
      Yes. With Innovus High Gloss - a decorative laminate with an impressive high-gloss effect. It can be used for versatile interior and furniture applications and is suitable for horizontal and vertical use. With Innovus High Gloss, we offer you an extensive portfolio of selected decors, which are highlighted in their glossy design by their play of light and depth.
  • Cleaning, Transport and Storage
    • How should Sonae Arauco products be stored?

      The recommended storage conditions for wood-based panels should be close to 20°C (15-25°C) with a relative humidity of 35-50%. It is important to prevent sudden, drastic changes in the conditions because this can affect the quality of the boards.


      For a proper transport and storage of wood-based panels, the following is recommended:
      › always transport the boards supported on a flat base and store them horizontally, keeping them off the ground by using dry pads or supports at a height that allows the entry of forklift forks without damaging the material;
      › repackage the boards whenever the packaging is damaged;
      › protect the edges of the boards when raising, moving or stacking, especially if handling unpackaged material;
      › ensure that the floor is level in the storage area and that there are no objects that could cause unevenness, in order to prevent possible board warping, which is very often irreversible;
      › store the boards in a covered area, protected from the weather and away from sources of humidity and intense heat;
      › do not store boards in areas with air currents, especially if the air is humid;
      › keep the boards away from water, especially the edges;
      › always store the boards horizontally and grouped by size, so that they are aligned and no board protrudes more than 15 mm;
      › if boards with a thickness of 8 mm or less are stacked, place a board no less than 15 mm thick or a wooden pallet, preferably flat topped, at the bottom of the stack;
      › if using shims or support beams, ensure that these are the same height and the spacing between them is 600 mm or less;
      › ensure the vertical alignment of the beams between batches, placing them parallel to the smaller boards.


      If storage space is reduced, stack the boards well against each other and obliquely at an angle not exceeding 20° in relation to the vertical, avoiding direct contact of the boards with the ground. It is also advisable to cover the exposed side of the stack with a protection board.


      In high temperature environments, put a protection board on top of the pile, both in storage and in transportation during the transformation process, to reduce the effect of the heat on the face of the material. The loss of moisture in the exposed face, with the consequent structural imbalance of the board, can generate warps.

      In high humidity environments, also place a protection board or another physical protection over the batch to minimize potential material imbalances due to moisture absorption in the exposed area. In situations of prolonged storage or greater demand, the use of specific packaging with protective film may be justifiable.


      Stock management is also recommended to minimise the time the material is kept in storage, using the FIFO (First In, First Out) principle, whenever possible.

    • How should wood-based panels be handled?

      The handling of wood-based panels does not require special protective care, just compliance with the equipment safety requirements and taking normal respiratory and eye protection precautions in operations that produce dust (cutting, sanding, painting, etc.).


      We recommend the use of gloves and safety goggles when removing packaging straps of the boards or cutting material. You should also be careful when lifting and handling heavy panels so as to avoid injury.

      The installation of dust extraction systems, which can be central or individual (machine to machine) depending on the size of the facilities, is recommended.


      Taking the grain size of the sanding dust into account, there may be a risk of explosion. Therefore, fire-extinguishing devices should be adapted to this potential risk and the possibility of installing spark detection systems with automatic extinction should also be considered.


      Moving unstrapped batches should be avoided due to the risk of the material falling.

    • How should wood-based boards be cut?
      Wood-based boards can be cut with normal wood saws (vertical and horizontal saws, bench saws or even manual circular saws). It is important to bear the condition of the blades in mind, assuring the panel is properly supported and eliminated machine vibration.
    • What types of glue can be used?
      All wood glues and adhesives on the market are suitable for use with wood-based products. To ensure the best results, follow the glue manufacturer's recommendations regarding the amount of glue, the pressing time and the pressure to be applied.
      A prior test should be carried out for fire resistant (FR) products.
    • Can wood-based products be milled?
      Wood-based boards can be milled, both at the edges and on the surfaces. For particleboard (PB), the profiles should be simple in order to reduce the risk of pulling out the particles.
    • How should these products be drilled?

      The same tools that are used for solid wood processing can be used for drilling wood-based boards.


      It is advisable to pre-drill before inserting screws to prevent pulling out particles or delamination of the board.


      For the best results, use a drill bit whose diameter is the same as the core of the screw. Screws inserted on the surfaces should be placed at least 20 mm from the edge. When the screws are inserted on the edges, they should be at least 70 mm from the corners and there should be at least 30 mm between consecutive screws.

    • Can Sonae Arauco products be recycled?
      Yes. Wood-based boards are free of halogen and halogenated-organic compounds. Chemicals used to preserve wood such as Pentachlorophenol, chloro-organic biocides, pyrethroids and dioxins are not added to Sonae Arauco wood-based products.

      This is why waste from wood-based boards can be recycled for thermal utilisation, as fuel. For further information, see the product EPD.
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