Why the construction industry should become much more acquainted with magnesium oxide

Why the construction industry should become much more acquainted with magnesium oxide

Magply? It’s a relatively new one on us but the name would suggest an amalgamation of two important elements to form a building board. Tell us more?

GP. Your assumptions are not misplaced. Magnesium oxide, commonly known as magnesia, has a long history as a construction material. In fact, magnesia has been identified in the Great Wall of China, along with many other ancient landmarks. Its use has continued throughout the centuries, with the base of New York’s Brooklyn Bridge, and the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty made from locally mined Rosendale natural cement, a mixture of calcium oxide and magnesia cement. China is home to some of the largest deposits of magnesium oxide in the world, and they have developed a highly automated, rigorously quality controlled manufacturing process to turn it in to an incredibly versatile board for a multitude of construction projects.

PB. So why the current resurgence in interest now?

There are a number of reasons behind this, not least the findings of a detailed report, Magnesium Oxide Board Market – global analysis, size share growth trends and forecast 2018 – 2026 from Transparency Market Research, where the boards are described as being environmentally friendly, and produced without large amounts of fossil fuels or releasing substantial amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

PB. So, what practical advantages do they offer the contractor over traditional alternatives to gypsum-based drywall, cementitious boards, and plywood?

The mineral composition of the boards ensures impressive strength and durability, but, perhaps most significantly, greater fire resistance, which is obviously very topical right now. Manufactured from naturally occurring materials, which are combined with alkaline resistant glass fibres for strength and integrity, the Magply boards have a fire classification of EN 13501 Euroclass A1, which means they can be used as passive fire protection panels for timber frame, steel frame, rainscreen cladding, SIP panels, spandrel panels and modular builds.

The actual production process ensures a low chlorine content, enhancing both stability and durability, whilst the products can also boast superior frost, moisture and mould protection, along with some important sound insulation qualities. Available generally in 9 and 12mm thicknesses, the boards are easy to cut and fix on site for use as a high performance dry lining panel, and have been tested for use with a variety of render systems to form external facades for domestic and commercial properties, which utilise hybrid frame structures. They can also be used in roofing, and increasingly as a highly efficient tile backer. It’s a simple one board fits all approach.

PB. What’s the route to market in the UK, and where can builders source the boards?

Magply is a brand of IPP Building Products, which can offer a range of innovative sustainable and environmentally friendly products for construction, such as Alumaflex, thermal multi foil insulation and Black Mountain Natural Insulation. Once imported we hold significant stocks on the ground, and work with leading distributors to get them into key builders’ merchants nationwide, where we have a full programme of demonstration days.

The industry is naturally conservative when it comes to new products, but more and more are coming to understand that Magply plugs a gap in the market for a high performance multi board that performs better than gypsum plasterboard in a wide range of projects. Other fire protection boards are, of course, available, but we are confident that ours are the most competitively priced.

PB. The Magply secret has been well and truly told!

For further information on Magply visit magply.co.uk/

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