There are Australian Standards for wood panel products such as Plywood, Particleboard, MDF, & LVL. They specify the quality and performance requirements for products in the Australian environment.
The best way to purchase products that are of the most suitable quality is to buy based on product standards.
According to Standards Australia the purpose of standards are four fold:
Voluntary or mandatory applications. Standards that specify requirements to achieve minimum objectives of safety, quality or performance of a product or service.
Regulatory compliance. Standards that are used to specify minimum least-cost solutions to technical requirements expressing characteristics, performance and design criteria compatible with legislative requirements.
Contractual purpose. Standards that serve as purchasing specifications or technical conditions of contract between two parties.
Guidance. Standards that may be intended for educational purposes.
|To view a list of the relevant standards relating to wood panel products visit our website: www.ewp.asn.au/standards|
Even if there is no specific reference to the relevant standards in regulations often they are referred as part of contractual arrangements. The fact that a product conforms to an Australian Standard ensures that it is fit for purpose and use in the local applications that the standard relates too.
Products that do not conform to Australian Standards may not be suitable for Australian conditions. In many cases a design is based on the assumption that a product meets a set of performance criteria and most often these relate to an Australian Standard. If the product does not meet the appropriate performance criteria it follows that the design may be flawed and the product may fail in that application.
The best way to ensure that a product meets an Australian Standard is to purchase products that are independently certified by a third party.
Product Certification is a special case of product conformity assessment. It is an independent verification of compliance by the Certification Body (CB).
The certification body attests to the conformity of the product based on its evaluation of the product. This evaluation can be conducted by the certification body itself or may be outsourced to laboratories, inspection bodies or auditors/assessors. In Australia the EWPAA operates as a certification body and provides an independent verification of wood panel product conformity to the Australian and various other standards.
To learn more about Australian Wood Panels Certification Schemes go to: www.ewp.asn.au/?q=certification
Unfortunately, there is product in the market that it is fraudulently labelled or mislabelled in such a way as to imply that they meet Australian Standard. If a product has a claim appearing on it that it is certified there is a simply way to check.
To verify if the claims made by a manufacturer that their products are certified requires the gathering of some information
- What is the manufacturer’s name?
- What is the product?
- What standard is the manufacturer claiming to meet?
- What is their certification number?
- Who is the certifying body?
- Who is the accreditation body?
- Obtain a copy of their certificate – from the online register of the certifying body
Much of this information can be found either printed on the product or on the pack label or simply ask the supplier.
Once you have this information you should be able to go to the Certification Body's web-site and check if the company is certified. You should also be able to go to the Accreditation body web-site and verify that the certification body is legitimate i.e. accredited.
We recommend that when purchasing wood panel products that you specify that they meet the relevant Australian Standard and preferably they are certified that they meet this standard. In this way you have the best chance of purchasing a product that is fit for purpose in your application. Purchasing EWPAA certified products ensures this.