The Sceptical Structures of Max: 02

James Beckett
sheet chipboard, tubular chipboard profile, historical and modern objects, Flatbed printed text
238 × 140 × 39 cm
Texts (from left to right)Particle board, 1887 - today. 'Generic description'.PARTICLE board is an engineered wood product that is cheaper, denser and more uniform than conventional wood and plywood. It is manufactured from mixing wood waste, chips, shavings and even sawdust, with synthetic resin (mostly melamine). Particle boards make up the lowest rank in the density spectrum of fiberboard products, with MDF (medium-density fiberboard) and hardboard (high-density fiberboard, HDF) making up the other two. Today 80% of all furniture products are made of particle boards.Pilot and inventor Max Himmelheber played an important role in making the first sheets of particle board, which was little more than pourings of floor sweepings, wood chips, ground up off-cuts and glue.During WWII, phenolic resins had become more readily accessible and therefore more commonly used. They were the first commercial synthetic resins, widely used for production of moulded products. When phenol formaldehyde resin cures by heat, it is irreversibility hardened into what is commonly known as Bakelite, the world's first synthetic plastic, first developed in 1907.The main safety concern with particle board is the slow release of formaldehyde, which is classified by the World Health Organization a known human carcinogen.Aged particle board found in a children's play fort at the back of Villa Himmelheber, Baiersbronn, DESauerland Spanplatte, 1951 - today. 'Wesite: sauerland-spanplatte'.TUBULAR board manufacturer Sauerland Spanplatte is located in the eponymous wooded region of Arnsberg, Germany. Established in September 1051, the family-owned board manufacturer produces chipboard with an extrusion-method developed and patented in 1949.Wood chip pulp is poured around metal tubes with varying diameters and compacted to from boards that are then cut to desired sizes. The stress distribution principal in the tubular material takes its inspiration from the architecture of dome-shaped dwellings such as igloos, or arched aqueducts - elevated structures that mainly support mass that cross bodies of water. The arch leads to an ideal absorption of force, allowing the bridge to let the water flow through; in the case of tubular boards, it allows the boards to be thick while being light in weight and impact resistant.The main application of the boards is for doors; Sauerland Spanplatte specializes in the production of doors that are fire, sound and climate resistant.Natural residual wood and chips from the sawmills in Sauerland and Thuringia from the basis for the Sauerland particleboard. More than 1 million cubic meters of softwood are processed annually ensuring optimum and environmentally friendly raw material utilisation. The company employs approximately 300 workers.