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What are MgO boards?

MgO board, is broad term for magnesium based boards of which there are many different types and qualities. MgO boards are a new superior alternative to traditional board types such as: plasterboards, wood based boards (plywood and OSB etc) and cement based boards (calcium silicate and fiber cement etc). MgO boards can be used for interior and exterior walls, ceilings, floors, doors and SIP systems etc.  


  • Fire resistant (class A1) building material 

  • Lighter, more flexible and stable then traditional sheeting systems 

  • Time and material saving - dramatically reducing construction costs 

  • Environmentally friendly - Extremely low carbon footprint and recyclable 

  • Ideal for time, safety and health sensitive construction applications (containing no toxic chemicals)

  • Excellent Thermal qualities - Keeping rooms warm in winter and cool in summer 

  • Easy to work with - can be cut using wood tools and does not shatter/crack when attaching fasteners

Fire Board

Recommended applications


  • 6mm - Ceiling board, Lightweight and easy to install, only 2 layers cannot be tapered. 

  • 9mm - Ceiling board or Wall board, with 3 layers of fiber, the 9mm can be tapered 

  • 12mm - Wall board, with 3 layers of fiber, the 12mm can be tapered. Designed for walls that require a 2 hour fire rating or more 

  • 16mm - Floor Board, Specially designed with a higher density and 4 layers of fiber for added strength

  • 20mm - Specialty applications, such as fire doors etc. 

Please note these are only recommendations - for example in some cases our 16mm floorboards have been used as ceiling boards with great success. If you have any questions we are more than happy to help advise on the perfect board for your application needs.

Uni-Board MgO board Sizes and thicknesses we stock 













Edge cut


SE or TE

SE or TE



Fiber Layers

2 layer 

3 layer 

3 layer 

4 layer 

3 layer 







Weight Kg/PP






Custom boards

How we can help: 

We can provide boards with different:

  • Dimensions (max 1200x3000)

  • Thicknesses (6mm up to 20mm)

  • Densities (higher density - stronger and better fire resistance)

  • Edge cuts (Tongue and groove etc)

  • Fiber layers (strength) 

  • Mixtures (chloride or chloride free and more)

  • We also have specialty boards which have been designed for 4hr fire rated wall systems. 

Common questions/answers

Q - What is a tapered edge ?

A - A tapered edge, is where the edge is cut allowing room for construction tape etc. Which gives builders space to to finish the walls leaving a smooth straight finish. Furthermore adding strength to the joint, reducing the risk of cracking from structural movement 

Q - Why is the 16mm floor board grey? 

A - Ash is added to the mixture to change the colour of the board into a shade of grey, this is to indicate the board has a higher density and moreover to make sure the 16mm floor board is not confused with any other boards on a construction site prior to installation.  

Q - Do the boards need to be plastered/skimmed?

A - We recommend plastering for both interior and exterior applications, but especially in exterior applications however for internal walls the boards do not need to be plastered/skimmed, They can be finished as easily as one layer of primer and two top coats of paint or wallpaper or tiled etc. 

Q - Do the boards need to be Waterproofed in bathrooms etc?

A - In areas such as baths and showers etc. Yes there must be a waterproofed layer, Uni-Board is waterproof in the sense that in prolonged exposure to water the boards will not swell or change shape leading to damage. For example if a pipe bursts and the boards are soaked in water, once the issue is resolved the boards will dry without any damage, at most the boards would need to be repainted. Also on site if it rains and the boards are soaked in water, leave the boards to dry and then install as per usual. 

Q - What is the fire rating/fire resistance of my wall?

A - Fire resistance is relevant to the product - in which case our Uni-Board MgO boards have a class A1 fire resistance, which is the highest fire resistance possible. Meaning it is non-combustible, has zero flame spread and no toxic smoke emissions in the event of a fire. The fire rating will depend on the combination of products used in the wall system (framework, fasteners, boards, paint, insulation etc).


Whereas the fire rating depends on the wall system as a whole, including the: boards, screws, framework, insulation, finish etc. We do have some tests for rated systems we can offer as a guideline, whereas many of our products have been privately tested by construction companies with success. However they maintain the intellectual property rights to those systems they have created. The biggest issue regarding fire ratings is the time it takes for the screws to transfer the heat into the framework - because the frame will give out long before the Uni-board panels will.

Q - What is the difference between chloride and chloride free MgO boards 

A - Traditionally MgO boards contained chloride, because it caused a chemical reaction that made the boards stronger, However this reaction also caused the boards to absorb moisture from the air. In turn this can lead to the corrosion of screws and the metal framework etc. On top of this the boards can 'sweat' and/or turn yellow over time. Therefore MgS04 boards (also known as Magnesium sulphate or chloride free MgO boards) were created using Sulphate instead of chloride. This process reduces the associated problems with boards containing chloride and to to make up for the strength extra layers of fiber are added to the board.

We can also supply MgO boards containing chloride, which can be used in dry areas. However requires special installation procedures. Whereas for humid environments chloride free boards are highly recommended. It is for these reasons Develop Africa only stocks and recommends Chloride free MgO boards (MgS04), because it is the safer option. 

Q - Then why would anyone use MgO instead of MgS04

A - The boards containing chloride are cheaper to produce, MgS04 is a newer technology and many factories do not have the necessary equipment and/or experience to produce quality MgS04 boards. Therefore we work with Uni-Board.

Q - Why are almost all MgO boards manufactured in China

A - China has the most abundant natural supply of raw magnesium. 

Q - Can the 16mm Floor board be finished with a clear finish?

A - Yes, a clear epoxy or similar can be used. Please refer to the experts and follow the recommended installation guides given by the product choosen. 

Q - I need more information on your boards, can you help me?

A - Yes, we want to hear from you, please feel free to ask us anything about the boards. You can contact us on our website, phone and/or email. We look forward to hearing from you. 

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