Oriented Strand Board
OSB is a material with favourable mechanical properties that make it particularly suitable for load-bearing applications in construction. It is now more popular than plywood, commanding 66% of the structural panel market. The most common uses are as sheathing in walls, flooring, and roof decking. For exterior wall applications, panels are available with a radiant-barrier layer laminated to one side; this eases installation and increases energy performance of the building envelope. OSB is also used in furniture production.
OSB uses the wood from trees that grow quickly and sustainably, like aspen poplar, southern yellow pine and mixed hardwood species. The process of making OSB involves cutting the logs into strands that are then dried, organized and treated with wax and binders. To form panels, these strands are grouped into big sheets and pressurized at a high temperature.
It comes in various sizes, usually ranging from a quarter-inch (6 mm) to three-quarters of an inch (18 mm), though customers may put in special size requests.