Lightweight panel product meets CARB 2 standard
April 11, 2011 | 7:00 pm CDT

Avian has reported that its lightweight board meets and exceeds the CARB 2 standards making it one of only a few suppliers of CARB 2 standard boards.

The panel product was introduced by Avian in Kentwood, Mich., for office and contract products. Displays and trade show booths are seen as prime opportunities for the new Avian Board, a lightweight panel designed to provide weight savings without loss of load capacity or rigidity. It can also make green claims by using less material, and it requires less energy to transport finished products.

The panels themselves are made in Europe by Egger as part of a partnership agreement with Avian. Austria-based Egger is one of the major industrial suppliers of wood-based panel products, including the Eurolight lightweight panel.

California Air Resources Board is a department within the California Environmental Protection Agency. The purpose of this airborne toxic control measure is to reduce formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products, and finished goods that contain composite wood product that are sold, supplied, used, or manufactured for sale in California. The composite wood products covered by this CARB regulation are hardwood, plywood, particleboard, and medium density fiberboard. California and 16 additional states have adopted this standard. In January of 2009, CARB 1 formaldehyde emission regulation took effect, with more stringent CARB 2 emission regulations effective January of 2012.  

Finished products 

"We have the capability in Michigan to finish the boards, cut them to size if needed, as well as provide the customer with a 'product in a box' including all the connectors," Avian's Ronen Shefer said in an earlier interview. "Egger can provide us with a finished product as well, and in some cases, particularly when dealing with overseas projects, that might make sense.

"Also, we manage the material and inventory when dealing with Egger, so no minimum order is required. Pricing, however, is adjusted depending on volume, but most prefer this method rather than having to buy a container load at a time."

Users can get the panels as big as 6 x 8 feet, although most requests so far are for the standard 4 x 8 size, Shefer says. 

The board is made from a corrugated honeycomb core sandwiched by two deck boards and can be made from particleboard, melamine or MDF, depending on the desired application. Panels mostly fall into thicknesses using 8 mm or 4 mm surface layer on each side of the honeycomb core. Avian offers detailed specifications in strength and deflection in overall thicknesses from 15 to 50 mm (about 2 inches). The panels can also be made thicker.

A variety of finishes is available, including oak, maple, birch and pine, along with more exotic choices like macassar, Jakarta teak and wenge.

Good fits 

Shefer said that the product appealed to NeoCon visitors such as office furniture manufacturers, "green" furniture manufacturers, closet organizer companies, tradeshow/display fabricators, retail point of purchase makers, and designers and architects who like the added possibilities the product represent.

A Michigan maker of retail displays, signs and trade show booths is reported to be one of the first Avian users.

Shefer sees several places where the panel is a good fit:

--Any surface application (desks, shelves, counters) particularly when the design calls for "thick" lines. 

--Mobile furniture pieces (classroom tables, podiums, etc) that need to be moved from time to time.

--Office partitions or portable walls for the retail environment.

--Modular systems that are easier to ship, carry and install.

--Trade show booths that can be easier to ship and set up.

--Green product applications since the board meets CARB 2 standards.  

"We clearly see the opportunity in the future to manufacture several product lines using lightweight board and market it to the general public, but right now we are focused on providing a lightweight solution to the industry as a whole," Shefer says.

Benefits of Avian's Lightweight Board: 

Environmental. Energy savings in material manufacture and more effective use of wood. It's FSC Certified. 

Ergonomics. Useful for mobile furniture such as conference tables.  

Design. More flexibility in dimensions, width and format. Thick panels at low weight offer wide variety of design opportunities that were not possible before 

Functional Features. Improved bending strength, high level of stability and ease in fabrication. 

Optimal Logistics. Effective use of transport capacity, easy to load and cheaper to ship means lower transportation costs 

Multiple Applications. Kitchen, living areas, bedrooms, office, exhibition stands and interior design. 

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About the author
Karl Forth

Karl D. Forth is online editor for CCI Media. He also writes news and feature stories in FDMC Magazine, in addition to newsletters and custom publishing projects. He is also involved in event organization, and compiles the annual FDM 300 list of industry leaders. He can be reached at [email protected].