EWPAA takes lead role as an international testing body
THE Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia is taking a more powerful role as a lead industry organisation for certification and product analysis following a start-up of new timber testing and laboratory facilities in Queensland.
EWPAA has commissioned a Japanese Shimadzu 100 kN testing instrument in Brisbane which will used primarily to assemble ‘fitness for use’ criteria, including modulus of elasticity (MoE) and bending, compression and bearing strengths of timber.
The association now speaks for a notable proportion of the timber industry, representing plywood, LVL, particleboard, MDF and wood panel manufacturers and services in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
Valued at well over $1 billion, the industry in Australia and New Zealand supports more than 5000 jobs.
The association now has one of only two industry laboratories in Australia accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA). Facilities in Brisbane and the Gold Coast test for a full range of structural and physical properties and for formaldehyde emissions and bond quality.
Samples from member plywood and LVL mills are tested daily with other properties tested on a monthly basis. The schemes are accredited by the Joint Accreditation System of Australian and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ).
An audit in a few weeks will extend EWPAA’s JAS-ANZ accreditation. EWPAA general manger Simon Dorries said new Shimadzu testing and measuring unit, purchased from the now defunct NSW State Forests timber engineering division, dovetailed well with equipment at the Gold Coast wood panels laboratory and the recent take-over of A3P’s quality certification scheme for sawn timber.
He said EWPAA was positioned to test plywood, LVL, particleboard, MDF, sawn timber, and glue-laminated wood.
“Our investment in high-technology equipment and services now allows us to put emphasis on commercial testing,” Mr Dorries said.
The EWPAA laboratory in Brisbane became a registered NATA laboratory in 1969. In 1994, the quality control program was registered by NATA as a quality managed system under ISO 9002.
The highest level of independence and credibility, however, was achieved in 1996 when the EWPAA quality control program and product certification scheme were directly accredited by the joint accreditation.
The Gold Coast test centre laboratory, a NATA-accredited facility, carries out most of the wood panel tests specified in AS/NZS, EN and JIS.
Meanwhile, EWPAA has joined forces with the Soil Association Woodmark program. Woodmark offers Australian businesses FSC certification and has subcontracted the EWPAA’s quality control manager Ewan Brown as an external auditor.
The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia provides accreditation for plywood, LVL, particleboard, MDF and solid timber.Learn more