The article is quoted form the web-pagewww.lesexpert.ru
THE ARTICLE OF LESEXPERT|"LESNAYA GAZETA"
August 22 1998
THE EUROPEAN STANDARDS OF SAWN TIMBER
The term "eurostandard" had come into the Russian timber trading yet before 1995, when the first European standards of timber were brought in. Sometimes, the term is mistakenly used for old state standards of the USSR for exported timber that doesn't reflect the real demands of consumers from some particular country or a group of countries.
The European standards are elaborated and maintained by the European Committee of standardization. The members of this committee are national standardization organizations of Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and Sweden. If the European standard is accepted, the countries listed above are supposed to provide its application as the national standard without any changes. Such status of the European standards removes the technical barriers in trading timber and evens the level of technology development in the European countries. Joining the effort together remarkably decreases the expenses for the standard elaboration. The projects are made by small groups of specialists from the countries interested in using the demands of the national standards when elaboration the European standards. The system of concordance of the projects and voting principle provide accepting as a standard that project, which is approved of by the most votes with no objections. The project is voted down if a quarter of the Committee members have objections. For the most countries, the participation in the standards elaboration is project concordance and correction of the national standards after taking in the European standards. Thank to such organization of the process the European standardization is developing very fast. During the last three years, there have been accepted about a hundred of standards of timber.
It's necessary to say that the standard elaboration is conducted more by the countries consuming timber than by those that produce it. The Secretariat of the Technical committee "The round and sawn timber" is conducted by France and the secretariats of the working groups of this committee are conducted by Italy, France, Sweden, Belgium and Switzerland. The secretariat of the technical committee "The timber constructions" is conducted by Denmark.
The European standardization of timber started from the standardization of the terms and the measurement methods. By the present time, there have been accepted eleven term standards for round and sawn timber (EN 844-1 - EN 844-11), two standards for measuring biological damage of timber (EN 1310, EN 1311), and the standards of timber size and volume measurements. (EN 1309-1, EN 1312). The coordination of the unified European demands for the methods of round timber size and volume measurement (EN 1309-2) is in the final stage of its elaboration. The complex of these standards is the alphabet and arithmetic of timber trading I Europe.
A special group of standards is made for classification of the round timber, which purpose is not determined yet, i.e., when the demands of the concrete consumer have not been considered yet. The size classification is determined according to the medial diameter and log length (EN 1315). In quality classification the special features of every wood type are considered (standard series EN 1316 and EN 1927). Four sorts (А, В, С and D) are provided for oak, beech, spruce, pine and larch round timber and three sorts are there to classify poplar wood. If the consumer and the wood's purpose are already determined, sort classification is changed to sorting according to the consumer's demands. The standard establishes only a list of features for which there should be indicated permissible traits in the contract. These are the traits of pine and spruce timber: knots (can be divided in healthy, dry and rotten), swelling, shoot (size of growth-rings), spiral wood fiber, displaced core, crookedness, rise, core and ring cracks, rottenness, coloring. In Europe, the size of growth-rings in the quality indicator of all types of timber, except for poplar. The Russian timber has a remarkable advantage in this respect. However, it's not considered when defining a price because measurement and normalization of the growth is not conditioned in out standards for exported timber. The European standards of classification of the round timber are expedient to use not only in export but also when elaborating the method of quality measuring of the standing timber.
The European standardization of sawn timber has several directions. Along with the standards for traditional swn timber the standards for woodwork sawn timber, constructing sawn timber, packaging and tray timber and glued timber are being elaborated.
For the softwood sawn timber of general purpose there is the standard (EN 1313-1) that establishes a list of preferable nominal sizes as for Europe as a whole, as for each country separately, utmost deviation from the nominal sizes and the method of estimate shrinking allowance. The standards of visual sorting of softwood sawn timber in terms of quality are in the stage of concordance.
There is a special standard presenting the demands for woodworking sawn timber (EN 942). It maintains five sorts of this kind of sawn timber - J2, J10, J30, J40, and J50. In the attachment to the standard one can find recommendations about humidity, about a better choice of wood type and special traits of the lumber. Considering its high prices, the woodworking supplies to the European countries according to this standard can be profitable for all regions of Russia.
A large number of the European standards are elaborated for constructing sawn timber. Using the timber sorted according to its strength lets shorten the wood expenditure in constructing works.
For constructing sawn timber there are separately elaborated standards of sizes and tolerance (EN 336), methods of defining the indicators of mechanical properties and density (EN 384) strength classification (EN 338).There have been maintained nine classes of strength for softwood and poplar sawn timber - С14, С16, С18, С22, С24, С27, С30, С35 and С40 and six classes for deciduous timber - D30, D35, D40, D50, D60 and D70. There timber strength sorting can be as computerized (EN 519) as visual (EN 518). In the European countries, the national standards of visual sorting of sawn timber endurance are already used and the European standard doesn't changes them. It maintains the demands for the standards of visual sorting of constructing sawn timber strength. Observance of those demands lets guarantee fulfilling the demands for the mechanical features of a particular class of strength. The strength of constructing sawn timber provides the safety of the constructions and the issues of safety are the matter of the necessary standardization and certification. Using the Russia timber as construction material is possible after their strength sorting in the countries of the destination or in Russia. It's obvious that the second option is more profitable for us.
Application of the European standards is a necessary condition for maintenance and developing the timber export to the European countries. Assimilation of the European methodology of standardization is very also effective for the Russian inner timber market. The Lenexpert center helps companies to learn about the European standards for timber and their application.
August 28, 2001
Timber standardization within the market conditions.
THE EUROPEAN RULES OF SAWN TIMBER SORTING
Ten years ago Russia became an independent country and it turned to the market relations in the economics. However, when being exported, the quality of the Russian sawn timber is still estimated according to the state standards of the USSR All-Union state standard 26002-83 "The softwood sawn timber of the Northern sorting supplied for export" or All-Union state standard 9302-83 "The softwood sawn timber of the Black Sea sorting supplied for export". The standards were sanctioned in 1983, which means that the sawn timber we offer the foreign customers is sorted according to quite old rules.
A customer always has the right to choose. If he prefers the sawn timber of the standard mentioned above, he shouldn't be deprived of the possibility to make this choice by canceling the standards. The active standards should be kept till they are mentioned in the contracted about supplies. If a foreign customer prefers or has to use other standards that are more complete, the Russian suppliers and exporters should know and apply them.
Below there is a short information about the rules of softwood sawn timber sorting that have appeared in Europe for the last ten years.
The Nordic timber. From 1991 to 1994 the associations of sawn timber producers and exporters of Sweden, Finland and Norway conducted common analysis and generalization of the standards of timber sorting in these countries. The result of this work is "NORDIC TIMBER" - the new Scandinavian rules of softwood sawn timber sorting of 1994 (because of the cover color they are also called "The Blue Book"). The rules contain four basic sorts of sawn timber: А, В, С и D and four superfine: А1, А2, А3 и А4. They are assumed to substitute the old sorting rules - the Swedish and the Finnish "Green Books" of 1960 and the Norwegian rules of 1955. The sawn timber industry of these countries is directed towards timber supplies to the countries if the Western Europe. However, the producers of the Western Europe didn't take part in standard elaboration, as it is clear from the information given above. Therefore, "NORDIC TIMBER" is the outline made by the Scandinavian producers about the presumable demands to softwood sawn timber that the Western European consumers may have. The elaborators also consider the new sorting rules as directions for training personnel and for sawn timber trading. The totality of the terms and the demands to sawn timber is the basis for the negotiations about signing a contract about sawn timber supplies with a concrete consumer. For the last two years, quite many Russian sawn timber companies have adopted the new rules of the Scandinavian sorting.
The European standard for softwood sawn timber. The next stage of the sorting rules improvement is implementing a new European standard EN 1611-1:1999 "Sawn timber - the visual sorting of softwood timber - part 1"The European spruce, fir-tree, pine and red fir". It was elaborated by the European producers and consumers of sawn timber that form the European Committee of standardization: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Great Britain. The standard maintains five sort of sawn timber - О, 1, 2, 3 and 4 and two procedures of sawn timber sorting that distinguish by knot norms. Within the G2 procedure, the demands are presented only for the knots on the face side, and the knots on the edge are not considered. Within the G4 procedure, the demands are presented for the knots both on the face side and the edge. The procedure used should be mentioned in the contract. According to the CEN rules, all the countries listed above should bring the national standards in correspondence with EN 1611-1. Therefore, one should expect that these quite simple rules of timber sorting will be quite widespread in the nearest future.
Constructing sawn timber. All standards listed above contain the rules of sorting according to the outward appearance timber of higher sorts looks better and that of lower sorts looks worse. However, the quality of the major part of san timber used in building and constructing is defined by its endurance and not its appearance. Strength sorting can be either computerized (it measures the deformation of the timber under loading) or visual (according to the sorting rules that provide the demanded strength of the sawn timber).
An example of the constructing sawn timber standard is the British standard BS 4978:1996 "Visual strength grading of softwood", which has been assimilated by a few companies in Russia. This standard establishes demands for two sorts: general constructing sort GS and special constructing sort -SS. BS 4978 standard presents demands to the sorters' attestation. It is conditioned that softwood sawn timber sorted outside of Great Britain under the control of a certification organization acknowledged by the sawn timber sorting Committee of Great Britain and marked according to the requirements of the standard can be applied without the second sorting. TRADA (the British Association of timber research and development) is one of such certification organizations conducting attestation of sawn timber sorters according to his standard. TRADA already has a representative office and it conducts attestation of san timber sorters in the Russian language.
Woodwork timber. For woodwork sawn timber, the strength is as important as the outward. Normally for producing woodwork goods high sort sawn timber is used that is sorted according to its outward. However, in 1996 the special European standard EN 942:1996 "Woodwork sawn timber. General quality classification" was brought into force. A special characteristic if the standard is division of the sawn timber surface for visible (after an item is assembled) and hidden. There are five standards of woodwork sawn timber - J2, J10, J30, J40 and J50 (the numbers in designation of the knot type indicate the assumed diameter of the knots on visible surfaces.) In addition to the quality classification, the standard also contains requirements to the repair work (removing rotten knots, cracks, knags, and wormholes and inserting plugs or fillers instead), directions for making specification, wood type choice, humidity).
The high quality of the wood of the Russian forest lets supplying timber according to all the rules of sorting listed above. These rules should be considered as necessary and compulsory technological knowledge that timber exporters to Europe have to know.
The article is quoted from the web-page www.lesexpert.ru