Caneite softboard at from Lifetime Industries, NSW AustraliaCaneboard Properties
Softboard Pinboard Sheathing & Insulating Board

  • CANEBOARD PANELS - CONTENTS: what are the components of caneboard or softboard or pinboard made from sugar cane or similar cellulose products?
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What are the ingredients in cane-board or softboard, also called grayboard or pinboard? Is there asbestos in caneboard?

The image shown at the top of this page is a contemporary Caneite softboard product distributed by Lifetime Industries in Australia, cited below.

This article series describes and provides photographs that aid in identifying various insulating board & fiberboard sheathing materials used on building walls and roofs, such as Homasote, Celotex, Insulite, and Masonite insulating board sheathing products. Here we provide fiberboard product names and we describe the components, properties, and applications of various fiberboard, hardboard, and insulating board or sound deadening board products.

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Properties of Caneboard, aka softboard, greyboard, pinboard

Fiberboard sheathing panels used on a ceiling in the Solomon Islands might be caneboard or another fiberboard cellulose product (C) InspectApedia

Photos at page top and in this article illustrate a light-brown cellulosic-like fiberboard ceiling panels installed in a building in the Solomon Islands. This material looks like a cellulose product and might be caneboard.

Other contemporary caneboard product images are also given here. Caneboard, originally made from sugar cane cellulose is a wood-fiber product and would not normally contain asbestos.

Softboards (including Caneite) are considered a multi-purpose low-density fiberboard panel used in a wide variety of applications including as a sound and insulating covering for building interior ceilings and walls, heat insulation, impact resistance. Sugar cane board is also sold as a packaging material.

Softboards used as exterior sheathing are often sold in a form impregnated with bitumen to add moisture resistance. Those products are described at FIBERBOARD SHEATHING.

Question: is there likely to be asbestos in these 1970's Ceiling Panels installed in the Solomon Islands

I hope it is OK to ask a question, to which any reply would be most helpful and welcome. Sorry if I am presuming, but your website seems to invite questions.

Fiberboard sheathing panels used on a ceiling in the Solomon Islands might be caneboard or another fiberboard cellulose product (C) InspectApediaWe live in Solomon Islands in a wood frame house built in the 1970s.

Recently our corrugated iron developed a small leak which we noticed when a ceiling board began to sag. In replacing the board I began to wonder if it may contain asbestos as the house was built in the 1970s.

Photos attached.

The boards are 10 ft by 4ft unlike most these days which seem to be 8ft x 4ft.

They are about 1cm thick, and are quite soft, and very absorbent as that was why the dripping roof led to the weight of water breaking open the board.

The underside facing into the room is covered in a sheet of paper like material.

The upper surface does not have any particular pattern but it is obviously quite old. The boards are nailed to the rafters with wide headed nails (with points obviously). There are no markings but the material would almost certainly have been sourced from Australia (mid 1970s)

Fiberboard sheathing panels used on a ceiling in the Solomon Islands might be caneboard or another fiberboard cellulose product (C) InspectApediaWhen broken, it does seem to have a layered texture. The board crumbles rather than snaps and unless you are careful the paper can peel off beyond the break. On inspection the material seems to be pressed brown fibres that looks like wood, brown colour. There is no obvious powdery constituent. When we pulled down the board it left tufts of the material around the nails.

We have no environmental standards enforcement here, no testing and no way to know if there is any hazard. I expect you won’t be able to give any definitive answer but any observations would be very helpful.

Thank you - Anonymous by private email 2017/05/07

Reply: asbestos (absent in) Canite Board, Caneboard, softboard, greyboard, pinboard in the Solomon Islands & the Pacific areas including Australia & New Zealand

With the relcama that a visual inspection of photos of ceiling materials is no substitute for a lab test and also that we don't know the manufacturer of the ceiling material, after all that ducking and weaving, I note that the material in yourphotos looks like a wood fiber (cellulose) product, not an asbestos product.

There were some instances of asbestos cross-contamination of wood fiber products depending on when and where they were made - making fiberboard products at the same location where asbestos-containing products were made meant that that cross-contamination could have occurred, but to date (2017) I have not found authoritative research confirming that that actually has been determined, detected, or documented.

Fiberboard sheathing panels used on a ceiling in the Solomon Islands might be caneboard or another fiberboard cellulose product (C) InspectApediaKnowing the age of the building (1970's) helps as asbestos was widely used in some building products in most countries in that period. Knowing the building supplier and product source could also be informative.

In the Solomons canite board (at least originally made from sugar cane) is and has been a widely-used cellulose insulating type low-density fibreboard product (also known as "softboard", Greyboard, or as "pinboard") that looks like your ceiling panels produced both in soft forms (easy to push a pin or thumb-tack into) and harder forms (perhaps used as shelving or in furniture).

Producers in the Pacific area (Bryunzeel, Bunnings, Carter Holt Harvey, Demar, Gunnesons, & Worldwide Timber Traders for example) particularly in Australia and New Zealand - are, I think, common exporters to the Solomon Islands. I'll attach an MSDS for this product as it's a likely guess and as it's had a long use.

Right in the Solomon Islands the Tongs Corporation is a significant supplier of building products since the 1990's (too recent) but some of the older people there might know whose fiberboard products and sheathing boards were imported in the 1970's.

If you are facing a very worried occupant or worse, a complaint, then I'd collect a sample of both the material and of settled dust in the work area to have tested by a certified asbestos test lab.

In the Solomons and surrounding Pacific there has been concern for asbestos use and release from various products, discussed and addressed by PacWaste under SPREP located in Apia, Samoa.

At these articles you'll find examples of fiberboard products that do or don't contain asbestos and that are worth reviewing:

SHEATHING, FIBERBOARD ASBESTOS CONTENT - this is the main article you should see.





Research on Caneboard Softboard Pinboard Products: manufacturers, product sources, caneboard properties & ingredients & patents

Caneite softboard at from Lifetime Industries, NSW Australia

The image shown here is a contemporary Caneite pin-board product distributed by Lifetime Industries in Australia, cited below.


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