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Frequently Asked Questions: Magpanel MGO - Products

Frequently asked questions about Magpanel MGO

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MagPanel® is a strong, high quality, fire-proof, mineral-based building material used to replace plywood, fiber cement panels, OSB and gypsum wallboards. It is an extremely versatile product for use with interior and exterior construction: applications include sub-flooring and tile backer, ceilings, walls, exteriors, soffits, sheathing, coding substrates, shaft-liner, bathtub enclosures, and exterior siding. When used for exterior projects it must be coated or protected from the elements. 

MgO board is harder and stronger than drywall, and it is resistant to fire, insects, mold, mildew, and rot. It is sound and impact resistant, and has good insulating characteristics. It's noncombustible and non-toxic, has a receptive bonding surface, and contains no dangerous toxins like some other building materials. One exciting characteristic about Magnesium board is that it's lightweight while still being very, very strong. Therefore, a smaller amount of MgO board can do the same job (or better) as a greater amount of another material, such as sheetrock. And don't forget, because MgO board is so moisture-resistant, it lasts a very long time.

Magboard can be sawed, drilled, router-shaped, scored and snapped, nailed, and painted. It's many uses in the construction field include fireproof materials for ceilings and walls in every type of construction including apartment complexes, theaters, airports, hospitals, and much more. This amazingly versatile product also happens to be very green (environmentally friendly – not the color green). It has no ammonia, formaldehyde, benzene, silica, or asbestos, and it is completely safe for humans. It's a natural product that can be completely recycled, so it leaves a very small carbon footprint, and has no negative impact on landfills.

Magboard is available in a variety of sizes and thicknesses, it comes in a choice of basic colors and textures, and there are different grades and strengths to choose from, depending on the application. Because it is so hard, there is no need to place joints on a stud. And because it is so stiff, thin boards can be used in place of thicker boards of another material.

It is made by combining the carbon out of magnesium carbonite: commonly called “MgO” due to its chemical composition of magnesium (chemical symbol Mg) and oxygen (chemical symbol O). When oxygen is combined with magnesium under heat and pressure, it can produce a stone-like material - MgO. It is ground up into a powder, which is then combined with water to make a cement-like (adhesive) material. MagPanel® also contains other components but MgO is the primary component.

Similar compounds have been used for construction purposes for hundreds of years in such world-famous sites such as the Great Wall of China, Rome's Pantheon, and extensively throughout one of the world's tallest buildings, Taipei 101.

Pure magnesium, in its raw form, burns. MgO, however, is completely nonflammable and is used for fireproofing.

MagPanel® offers many cost benefits. Due to its strength and durability, MagPanel® increases the lifespan of structures such as homes and buildings. The cost per sheet of MagPanel® MgO Panels for the same thickness is greater than regular gypsum, but its the same-or-less than specialty types and generally less than cement products.

With MagPanel® you pay a small premium for a huge increase in versatility and applications of MagPanel®. Additional cost savings are found in the installation of MagPanel® because the time to finish the boards can be much less, and less product is needed in many applications. In addition, MagPanel® MgO Panels are strong enough to support light shelving, pictures, etc. - meaning no need to pre-install backing supports or use more expensive anchors.

MagPanel® MgO Panels are completely recyclable and can be disposed of easily. There are no expensive fees such as with the recycling/disposing of gypsum board scraps. Use leftover MagPanel® for a variety of indoor and outdoor projects, such as edging the landscaping, installing shelving, or excess material can be ground up and added to the soil as a nutrient.

MagPanel® MgO Panels are made from natural minerals, Magnesium oxide, Chloride, and Sulphate otherwise known as Epsom salts, along with wood dust (cellulose) perlite or vermiculite and a glass fiber mesh. There are no volatile organic compounds or toxic ingredients. The chloride content of our magboard is regulated during our manufacturing process and our boards average approximately 8%. Additionally, our dissolvable (free) chloride ion content is less than 5% and our sulfate content averages 0.2%.

Caution: while the materials used are not harmful, it is strongly recommended everyone wear proper silica/concrete dust respirators when using MagPanel® due to the dust created while cutting and sanding.

MagPanel® MgO Panels are sold in standard 4 × 8 ft sheets and in multiple thickness from 6mm to 20mm.

The density of MagPanel® is around 1 gram per cubic centimeter or just over 2.2 pounds per square foot for 12mm (1/2 inch) board. They are typically heavier than gypsum and lighter than ordinary cement boards.

No. MagPanel® is considered mmoisture resistant; however, during periods of extended exposure, moisture can affect it and cause hydrothermal expansion. When used outdoors, Magboard should be covered or coated to protect it from the elements.

The possibility of expansion for MagPanel® is low, but there is some hydrothermal movement. You can leave smaller gaps to accommodate for lower expansion or shrinking. MagPanel® is highly resistant to extreme outdoor environmental exposure such as rain and strong winds - as long as it is properly coated.

MagPanel® MgO Panels are ideal for use as a sub floor. Additionally, boards are available in the correct thickness and strength for use as structural sheathing. To determine the proper board grade depends on the design of the floor, joist span, spacing and size, dead load and live loading factors.

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