Understanding Lignia

Lucy Martin
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Lignia Range Image 567x460 (original)

Created from certified sawn plantation timber that has been processed to give it the properties of premium hardwood; Lignia is ideal for many applications from furniture and joinery to solidwood flooring, windows and doors.

LigniaXD™ is used for external applications, and Lignia™ for internal uses. Remarkably, Lignia can have the appearance of a traditional hardwood but with added performance. For example Lignia Tuscany is a rich cherry colour but has the hardness of oak.

Durability
Both Lignia and Lignia XD are certified as Class 1 – the highest grade in testing for durability. The structure of Lignia and LigniaXD – and therefore the performance is modified through a controlled, repeatable process which means that each has the same durability, piece after piece. Whereas natural wood will vary – and so will the durability.

Swelling and Shrinkage Reduced
LigniaXD was developed not only to provide outstanding durability but also dimensional stability when wet. Swelling and shrinkage are significantly reduced, even compared to high performance timbers such as Teak. The stability afforded improves gluing and adhesive properties, minimises movement in joints such as door and window frames and means that coatings and paints need much less maintenance.

Long Life Guarantee
The compound used to make LigniaXD is so robust that LigniaXD is sold with a 50 year warranty against fungal decay and rot when used outdoors above ground. Extensive laboratory and field testing by specialist facilities and users around the world has shown the performance of Lignia and LigniaXD to be consistent and reliable. Extensive testing for mechanical performance such as dimensional stability and durability are complimented by good paint application and UV resistance imparted.

Strength
Lignification is not at the expense of other properties of the wood, but it does densify or add weight. In effect this makes Lignia and Lignia XD stronger than most hardwoods. There is flexibility in the process in terms of final weight and hardness of the timber. Thus special qualities can be enhanced, and notably increased fire retardancy at higher densities.

Fire Retardancy
Reducing or delaying combustion in fires is one of the most critical elements of any new build and especially public buildings. Building regulations may stipulate that the timber cladding must meet a minimum level of retardancy when tested, and in most cases this will mean the timber being treated with a fire retardant. LigniaXD has improved fire retardancy built in and a good-excellent rating when tested.

Excellent for Coatings and Standard Fixings
Lignia and LigniaXD are relatively pH neutral which means that any potential reaction between coatings and the timber is minimised – even over considerable time. This allows finishes to adhere better and stablise, improving the lifespan of finishes and decreasing maintenance. It also means standard fixings – screws, nails, door and window fittings – can be used with the confidence that they will not be affected by the timber.

Colour Choice
Lignia and LigniaXD have a full colour management system – which means they can be selected on aesthetic merits and to genuinely replace a tropical hardwood “look”. The colour is locked in right the way through the timber meaning there is consistency when cutting and machining. There is also consistency of colour from batch to batch which is a significant advantage over sources of natural woods.

Performance Locked In – Forever
Under a microscope softwood looks like a sponge – full of pockets (tracheids) that contain fluid when the tree is growing but are empty when the timber is kiln dried. When Lignia and LigniaXD are treated, a coloured aqueous monomer is impregnated right through the board into the empty tracheids and cures as a polymer during kiln drying. The compound is locked into the timber giving it additional weight, strength, stability, durability and colour and remains inert.

The Environment

All Lignia wood is produced from well managed, sustainable sources of timber and this is at the core of principles making Lignia and LigniaXD environmentally compatible product. The production process is also low impact – using techniques long established in the timber industry and mainly around the normal conditioning (kilning) of wood. Contrary to popular belief there is an abundance of timber worldwide but most of it is softwood. Whilst softwood is suitable for many applications it is hardwood that delivers performance and beauty. Because well managed plantation timber is used when modifying timber is available in dimensions much larger than some traditional hardwoods, this can push the design boundaries – unlocking endless possibilities to work with beautiful timber. And all from certified timber that meets all the regulations in terms of both managed sustainable forestry and legal ownership.

Technical comparison

Lignia & LigniaXD Technical table

Summary of Lignia Benefits

Dimensional stability – reduced swelling and movement in all weathers
Consistency of performance – from board to board
Larger sections readily available to avoid engineered solutions
Fixings – pH neutral so standard fixings can be used
Coatings – pH neutral avoiding reaction with finishes
FSC Certification timber
Exceptional coating adhesion properties for durability and longevity of the surface
finishes
50 year warranty against rot and fungal attack
Variety of colours for oil or stain finishes and also suitable for paint finishes
Increased dimensional stability over standard softwoods and hardwoods
NO Face finger joints
Sourced from managed fast growing forests
The principle reason for specifying hardwoods in window and door systems is performance, dimensional stability and durability. This results in better fitting of windows and doors in all weathers, and reduces maintenance and the frequency of re-coating.

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