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The only reason it is used extensively is the cost ! there is a huge saving, the average person doesn't see it because we only buy a few sheets at a time. When a contractor builds several homes as you mentioned higher price range means larger means more square feet means more sheets. If the savings are close to $10 per sheet, imagine when you're buying a truckload !!! we are talking thousands of dollars. I sell equipment to panel mills across Canada and sometimes I am amazed at how much of this stuff is consumed. I use it for some applications but I much prefer plywood for being solid mass. My shop walls are all OSB and I must find studs to screw anything substantial to the walls. I was teaching my students yesterday about the different sheet goods and their applications and I said if I ever win a lottery and have a high end home built, it would be plywood, not OSB. The manufacturing cost is much lower because the fibre used can be in any type of wood and some low quality trees are used for the savings. Everything gets shredded to the size you see on a finished sheet and then it's dried to remove the moisture, then formed in several layers of a combination of these shavings and glue, which is then pressed with tons of pressure and heat to form the large sheets that are then cut to 4' x 8'. There is a coating on one side that is somewhat weather resistant but I think if plywood was priced equally no one would use OSB !
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