Adhesives for structural use

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Adhesives are widely used in non-structural applications such as furniture manufacture and joinery. They are also used in the manufacture of panel products such as plywood, particleboard, fibreboard and oriented strandboard (OSB), of which some grades are used structurally.

Glulam and structural timber composites such as cross laminated timber (CLT), laminated veneer lumber (LVL), parallel strand lumber (PSL) and laminated strand limber (LSL) rely on adhesive bonding, as do most prefabricated timber I-joists.

This Wood Information Sheet (WIS) is concerned principally with the use of adhesives in structural joints, although some information is provided on the types of adhesives used in other wood-based products. It does not cover the use of adhesives for chemically or thermally modified wood.


  • Structural use of adhesives
  • Design and manufacture of adhesively-bonded components
  • Types of adhesives
  • Adhesive classification
  • Selection of structural adhesives
  • Limitations on use
  • Gluing treated timber
  • Check list - factory production control for adhesive bonding
  • Safety precautions

This Wood Information Sheet was revised in November 2016. Changes were made following the withdrawal of two standards, BS EN 385:2001 and BS EN 387:2001, which were replaced with BS EN 15497:2014 and BS EN 14080:2013.

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