Even though plywood makes fairly efficient use of trees—essentially taking them apart and putting them back together in a stronger, more usable configuration—there is still considerable waste inherent in the manufacturing process. In most cases, only about 50-75% of the usable volume of wood in a tree is converted into plywood. To improve this figure, several new products are under development.
One new product is called oriented strand board, which is made by shredding the entire log into strands, rather than peeling a veneer from the log and discarding the core. The strands are mixed with an adhesive and compressed into layers with the grain running in one direction. These compressed layers are then oriented at right angles to each other, like plywood, and are bonded together. Oriented strand board is as strong as plywood and costs slightly less.
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