Quality Assessment

Research project

“OptiGas 2020”
Optimization of the gas analysis method for the determination of the formaldehyde release from wood-based materials

Together with the International Association for Technical Issues related to Wood (iVTH) and in cooperation with representatives from the wood-based materials industry, standardization bodies and manufacturers of testing equipment, we are revising the procedure for the determination of formaldehyde release in accordance with the gas analysis method ISO 12460-3. In addition to a shortening of the testing time and an optimization of the analytics, the focus of the research work is also being placed upon the applicability of the gas analysis method to other wood-based materials as well as the implementation of the findings in standardization procedures.

© Fraunhofer WKI | Manuela Lingnau
Gas analysis device for the determination of formaldehyde release in accordance with EN 717-2 and ISO 12460-3

Up until now, the self-monitoring of uncoated particle and fiber boards regarding their formaldehyde content has been carried out using the perforator method (EN 120). Investigations of emission-reduced wood-based materials regarding their formaldehyde content in accordance with EN 120 reveal, however, inadequate correlations to the results determined using the (EN 717-1) reference method (evidence for this has so far been provided in particular through uncoated particle board). Furthermore, examination of the different standards with stipulations concerning the type of self-monitoring has shown that in addition to the perforator method, application of the gas analysis method (EN 717-2) is also suitable (see trade journal Holz-Zentralblatt No. 10/2015, page 230).

In order to verify the correlation and application of the gas analysis method to other wood-based materials, we are currently examining uncoated MDF, OSB and plywood in consideration of the results already obtained through the first two work packages “Reduction of the testing time” and “Optimization of the analytics”. We are thereby verifying the correlation to the chamber method in accordance with EN 717-1. The extent to which a universal or even material and product-specific correlation will be provided can only be assessed following the evaluation of all the results.