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 synthetic 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 August 2019. Changes to adhesive classification were made following the 2018 revision of BS EN 15425 and the publication of BS EN 204. The changes include revisions to Table 1 and Table 3.


For queries about this technical document, please get in touch with its authors via BM TRADA’s Technical Helpline on +44 (0)1494 569601 or email


A paper/digital copy of this Wood Information Sheet is available in the BM TRADA Bookshop, which also hosts additional specialist timber publications.

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