SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1996

Small Chamber Methods for Characterizing Formaldehyde Emission from Particleboard


CEN (the European Committee for Standardization) is in the process of defining a standard method that uses environmental chambers to measure the steady-state formaldehyde emission from wood-based products for a specified loading of board placed in a controlled environment. This paper shows a good comparison of three small-scale chamber methods when used to test preconditioned samples of particleboards and MDFs. A curve-fitting model was used to determine the steady-state formaldehyde emission fom two samples of floorboards without preconditioning; this compares well with a “modified” deadline testing model. The CEC COST 613 guideline definition of steady state did not adequately allow for variations in the measurement of formaldehyde in the chamber. Although chipboard flooring was thought to be the major source of formaldehyde in the homes where the boards were being used, the interactions of various other sources and sinks, as well as the varying environmental conditions and the in-situ micro-environment of the boards make any comparison of indoor concentrations with chamber test results complex.

Author Information

Crump, DR
BRE, Watford, UK
BRE, Watford, UK
Squire, RW
BRE, Watford, UK
Atkinson, M
FIRA, Furniture Industry Research Association, Stevenage, UK
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Developed by Committee: D22
Pages: 211–224
DOI: 10.1520/STP15623S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5340-0
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2030-3