Wood Wool Cement Board (WWCB) is a versatile building material made from wood wool and cement where each fiber is coated with a thin film of Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) that, when cured, partly petrifies the wood. In that way the fiber will last indefinitely as long as the cement film is not damaged.
Environmentally speaking, cement has a negative CO2 signature and therefore both the wood and cement, when decomposed, are harmless to nature and as a result all homogeneous Wood wood cement board products have green labels in Europe. It combines the advantages of both wood and concrete together: as light as wood, as firm as concrete. Sound absorption, shock resistance, fire proof, moisture proof, mildew proof, all these functions are provided. It can widely be applied to gym, theatre, meeting room, factory, school, library, swimming hall etc.
Versatile and Durable
WWCB has been in use in Europe and other regions for a long time now. The worldwide acceptance of Wood Wool Cement Board proves its versatility and, not least important, its durability in any climatic conditions.
The salient features of wood wood cement board are as follows:
- Fire resistance
- Wet and dry rot resistance
- Termite and vermin resistance
- Thermal insulation
- Acoustic performance – sound absorption
- Excellent heat buffering capacity
- Light weight to handle
- Easy to process in construction
- Relative low energy consumption to produce
- Limited impact on local natural resources
- No waste product at end-of-life cycle;
Important Considerations in Use of WWCB
Wood wool cement board can be produced in densities ranging from 280 kg/m3 up to 1400 kg/m3. This allows for a wide range of applications depending on the required properties of the product. Low density material is used for insulation of sound and temperature, medium density material is applied more structural as the higher density also gives higher bending strength than the low density material.
In situations where one needs the qualities of the low density material for walls, the structural strength of the building has to come from reinforced concrete, steel or wood framing. The medium density boards have specific applications that make it a fire and vermin/termite resistant competitor to conventional boards currently used in stick build construction.
To differentiate between low density WWCB and medium density boards, the medium density boards are promoted as Wood Strand Cement Board WSCB as the 25cm (10″) long wood fibers in WSCB give it substantially more structural strength than the cement bonded (short) fiber boards currently in the market.
WSCB can also be seen as the lighter and stronger replacement of Cement Bonded Particle Board (CBPB). Due to the relative high OPC content, WSCB is heavier than Oriented Strand Board (OSB), but has none of the disadvantages of OSB type products. Types of wood that are suitable are species of pine, poplar/aspen and eucalyptus. Other wood species are sometimes suitable or can be made suitable by cement mixes that counter wood elements that obstruct curing.
Both WSCB and the Large WWC prefab wall elements are relatively new developments. WSCB being a patented medium density board from a Dutch WWCB machine builder while the large elements are a development of a Swedish customer of the Dutch company. The latter has also developed a pole reinforced low density building board (240x60x10-15cm) that shows high potential for affordable, well insulated social housing anywhere in the world.
Depending on the construction and local conditions it is now possible to build all types of well insulated housing with wood wool cement board from 3.5 cm thick for moderate climates to walls up to 60 cm thick for extreme cold or hot climates. Especially the use of the thicker low density WWCB material results in very substantial reduction of energy cost for air conditioning and/or heating while the indoor living climate is strongly improved because these walls are breathing. They absorb heat and moisture and release it gradually over a 24-hour period.
Potential in the Middle East
For construction industry in the Middle East, especially residential, wood wool cement board can provide comfortable living conditions in homes that require less cooling equipment than conventional homes. It can be implemented in all kinds of building concepts (new and renovation) without major hassles. In combination with concrete it can form well-insulated walls that can replace ceramic bricks.
A modern WWCB plant can produce over 300 different products in one location reducing commercial risk normally experienced with production of new materials. Considering the potential for all kinds of residential housing in the Middle East, wood wool cement board is an attractive business proposition for cement producers and cement converters in the region, and can also provide ‘green’ low-cost housing solutions.
To sum up, wood wool cement board can be a useful tool to provide sustainable housing which may help in rejuvenating the green building industry in the Middle East