Edge-glued panels are relatively wide and thin non-structural wood products used in the manufacture of other products such as furniture and cutting boards. They are produced from narrow pieces of wood glued along their edges to create products of greater width. Edge-glued components can be thought of as wide boards, except that greater widths are possible than with individual boards, and the edge-glued panels are less likely to warp in service.
The narrow pieces of wood used for edge-glued panels may be waste from other processing operations or are cut from larger pieces of wood to remove visual defects such as knots. The finished panel is more dimensionally stable than a single piece of wood of the same dimensions, resisting warping, cupping and twisting because of the random orientation of the grain in the adjacent pieces.
Edge-glued panels are produced from both hardwoods and softwoods. Individual wood pieces may also be finger-joined along their length to permit the incorporation of smaller lengths of wood into the finished product. The glues commonly used produce light-coloured glue lines—desirable since the products are used in primarily visual applications.
Edge-glued panels are produced for industrial and retail markets.
As an industrial product, panels can be finished or unfinished and are often cut to specific sizes in the manufacture of furniture, counter and table tops, solid cores for wood doors, and cutting boards.
For the retail market, panels are cut to size but rarely finished, since they are for the do-it-yourself consumer who often purchases them at home centres. However, home centres do sell some finished panels that have been pre-shaped as table tops, cutting boards or counter tops.
China now produces large quantities of edge-glued panels both for their domestic wood industries and for export. Since most edge-glued panels are used for further manufacturing, few production statistics are available.
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