The legislation, notably through the Construction Products Regulation, requires manufacturers to label their plywood with certain characteristics. The harmonised standard on which the legislation is based details the methods involved in doing so (definitions, measurement methods, labelling procedure, etc.). However, this regulatory and standard framework does not provide for thresholds or minimum performance levels.
That is why French plywood manufacturers, in partnership with the FCBA Technological Institute’s Quality Certification Department, developed the « NF Contreplaqué » certification framework (CTBX and CTBC).
The specifications underpinning this standard are based on existing standards, but go further still, notably by establishing minimum thresholds.
This certification, which is awarded subject to an audit of the manufacturer and tests on randomly selected panels performed with respect to the aforementioned specifications, vouches for the technical characteristics, performance and fitness for purpose of plywood intended for exterior applications or concrete formwork.
NF Contreplaque EXTERIEUR CTB-X is applicable to plywood for exterior applications. This quality mark guarantees the suitability of the plywood’s glue bonds and mechanical characteristics for exterior applications.
NF Contreplaqué EXTERIEUR CTB-X is an AFNOR certification enforced by the FCBA Institute (which checks the production controls applied in factories and verifies the performance of products).
Products featuring the NF Contreplaqué Extérieur CTB-X mark are particularly recommended for use in:
- humid interior environments (bathrooms, roller shutter boxes)
- sheltered exterior environments (roof substrates, bracing elements)
- exposed exterior environments (cladding, facades, exterior joinery).
In all cases, the panels must be installed in accordance with the instructions contained in the DTUs and with standard practices.
In July 2013, the NF Contreplaqué EXTERIEUR CTB-X mark was subdivided into two categories:
- NF Contreplaqué EXTERIEUR CTB-X Marine,
- NF Contreplaqué EXTERIEUR CTB-X Bardage(cladding)
NF Contreplaqué COFFRAGE CTB-C defines the level of performance that must be attained by plywood panels intended for use in the construction sector (concrete formwork and shoring).
Plywood manufacturers must comply with the EUTR regulation that requires forest exploitation to be LEGAL (see EUTR).
In addition to this requirement, manufacturers who are responsible and mindful of the need to secure the future availability of their raw material generally ensure that the forests from which wood is sourced are « managed sustainably ». Forest eco-certification, the two best known examples being PEFC and FSC, allows them to guarantee the traceability of their timber.).
This certification offers the guarantee that independent controls are carried out. Suppliers are therefore able to assure their customers that the forests that produce their plywood are managed sustainably.
International performance standards
It is worth pointing out that certification is not confined to France alone.Many other countries have developed their own sets of requirements, often based on national legislation. Therefore, plywood manufacturers must also offer international customers proof that their panels meet their requirements.