Plywood is an excellent insulation, backing, and strengthening product ideal for any use ranging from construction and insulation of roofs all the way to boat building. Our selection of plywood includes everyday use hardwood and softwood makes as well as speciality plywood such as Marine Plywood for extra strength and water control in construction and other everyday uses.
Working with plywood can come in many forms, high quality Marine Plywood is made from softwood which gives it excellent density, strength, and layering capabilities. This plywood can deal with high levels of moisture and is recommended not just in industrial but also in boating communities. Larger projects require stronger wood - we recommend Hardwood Structural Plywood. Although less prone to bending and twisting, it gives structural integrity and is able to withstand internal and external plywood uses.
For roofing and insulation projects with plywood, you will find the PIR-plywood laminate an excellent addition. Available in packs, these plywood insulation boards have a PIR foam centre to provide insulation when working on roof decks. For easy ceiling applications, take a look at the Plywood Pattress boards, made with suspended ceilings and spotlights in mind.
All of our plywood comes in various sizes as well as a number of thicknesses, if you have a specific need in mind please contact one of our team members and we will talk you through your options and how we can help - call us 020 3481 1978 or speak to us on Live Chat
Want to know more about Plywood? Take a look at our Guide!
A typical plywood panel has face veneers of a higher grade than the core veneers. The principal function of the core layers is to increase the separation between the outer layers where the bending stresses are highest, thus increasing plywood's resistance to bending. As a result, thicker panels can span greater distances under the same loads. In bending, the maximum stress occurs in the outermost layers, one in tension, the other in compression. Bending stress decreases from the maximum at the face layers to nearly zero at the central layer. Shear stress, by contrast, is higher in the centre of the panel, and at the outer fibres.
Plywood is a material designed and manufactured from thin layers or plies of wood veneer that are glued together. Plywood is also known as ply or plyboard and is widely used in construction. Ply sheet is manufactured in three or more thin layers based on the thickness and requirement.
What are the 3 main types of plywood?
The number and type of plies a board has can make all the difference when it comes to how strong or lightweight your project will be. Depending on your project and the strength required, some may need thicker boards while others can opt for smaller boards.
Each layer or veneer is glued with another layer and thus you can create as many as plies you need.
The final thickness of the board may vary depending on where you buy it, even if both have the same number of plies. Based on this, ply can be classified into 3 major categories as follows;
It has three layers and is the most commonly used ply. Strong and durable. Because of its finish, it looks more decorative than other types of plywood.
It has five layers of veneers. It is stronger than three-ply. This kind of ply is mostly suitable for interior projects.
It consists of multiple layers which makes this kind of ply the strongest one. It is mostly used in external projects where strength is the priority, for example in roofing.
Mostly Used trees to make Plywood and saws
The type of saw commonly used is circular saw to cut the plywood.following are the types of tree used to make plywood.
It is a tropical hardwood tree species with pale or dark pink colour. It is mostly found in France and is lightweight with a regular surface. Because of its characteristics, it is mostly used in exterior projects and decorations.
Poplar is temperate hardwood found in France that grows very fast. The grain type is fine and the wood is easy to peel. It is lightweight and white in colour. Mostly used in packaging or furniture.
Pine plywood sheathing is temperate softwood that is pinkish southern yellow pine in colour and produces medium to coarse grain. It is widely used in many industries and household projects. Well suited to structural applications in construction, load bearing floors can also be used to cover interior walls.
How is plywood manufactured?
When the early 1800s came, ply was a simple material made by glueing together thin sheets of wood. But with innovations like steam-powered machines that could cut veneers cheaply and easily, especially those developed for use in factories where there were large numbers needed to produce an item quickly--the technology behind this handy DIY project changed forever!
There is more than one type out on market these days too; some even come pre-assembled so all you need do is add your own screws or nails as desired
The video above explains the process of plyboard manufacturing.
Types of Plywood
Structural ply sheet is used in places where high strength is required, like beams, bracing panels, and formworks. They are mostly used in permanent structures where strength is needed, for example, in building and construction applications. Structural ply is superior to all other types because of its strength, high quality, and density. Because of these properties, it is used in many structural applications like concrete shutters, site hoarding, roofing and flooring and many more.
Marine plywood is manufactured from durable face and core veneers. It was specially designed to perform better in wet and humid conditions to resist delaminating and fungal attacks. It is resistant to decay that can appear because of moist conditions.
Hardwood plywood is made out of wood from dicot trees like beech, oak, and mahogany. Hardwood ply-board is well-known for its stiffness, strength, and resistance, ex. Poplar core plywood. Its high impact resistance and strength makes it suitable for heavy-duty floors and wall structure. This plywood piece is used as external grade murphy plywood in structural applications like constructions, flooring, and roofing systems.
Softwood ply is usually made of either Douglas fir, cedar, or SPF (Spruce, yellow pine plywood, and fir) or red wood, or white wood. Can be used in interior projects, e.g. door and furniture It is specially manufactured and used for commercial, industrial or construction purposes. The most common size of ply is 1.2 metres by 2.4 metres. Depending on the thickness and grade of the ply sheet the number of plies may vary.
Poplar Core Plywood
This plywood has a better grade poplar core and is the most preferred sheet material for many applications because of its durability, moisture resistant and non bending properties. It has an excellent quality surface that does not warp, bend or shrink or even split in different weather conditions. It is available in both softwood plywood, engineered wood, birch plywood, maple plywood, oak plywood and hardwood which makes it suitable for internal and external applications. External grade poplar is made from layers of thin sheets of wood veneer, glued using WBP adhesive, and compressed together.
Manufactured from various thin layers of birch veneers of the same thickness, glued and placed in alternating directions to gain the required thickness. Birch ply has excellent strength and is more stable and appealing than that of standard plyboard. Birch ply board is suitable for a wide range of applications like the floor, cabinets, tables, drawer cabinets, and more.
Flexible plywood sheathing model is also known as Flexi Ply or Bendy ply board. Flexible ply is a high-quality bendable sheet material. These are specially designed to cater to various shapes, bends and curves as required by the customers and architects. Flexible ply board is highly recommended by designers and architects for freestanding curves and other frameworks to develop a wide range of smooth curved surfaces for ceilings, spaces, columns, and walls.
Other types of ply include Pressure-treated plywoods, moisture resistant, fire resistant plywood, MDF (medium density fireboard), and wire mesh. These types of ply sheets are treated with various chemicals to improve the fireproofing and strength of the plyboard. The best example of such plywoods is MDF sheets, which are nonbearing board sheets with better fire retardant properties. All these types of ply sheets are of high quality and are specially designed to fill a need in the construction industry.
What are the properties of Plywood?
Ply has various properties which makes it one of the most popular construction materials.
Plyboard combines the structural strength of timber from which it is manufactured hardware, with the property obtained from its laminated design. Cross graining of the plies allows the sheet to resist spitting and increase the strength uniformly over the board to increase the stability of the board.
Specially designedplyis very flexible and bendy as it can be manufactured at pretty much any given thickness. Flexible ply is used for curved surfaces like the internal wall and skateboard ramps.
Plyboard is generally resistant to humidity and moisture due to the adhesive used to bond in the binding process. This resistance to moisture and humidity makes it suitable for exterior use like cladding, sheds, and marine constructions.
Certain layers of chemicals and additives are applied to the ply to increase the fire resistance of the ply.
While manufacturing plyboard it is treated with preservatives which makes it resistant to corrosion when exposed to chemicals.
Cross lamination of plies gives ply high tensile strength which makes it resistant to high impact and resists spitting.
The high quality of thermal andacoustic insulation provided by ply sheet makes it suitable for roofs, walls, ceilings, and floors. An extra layer of insulation can be used for better insulation.
Water Boil Proof (wbp) Ply
WBP plyboard is the ultimate solution in extreme weather conditions. Wbp ply is referred to as “Weather and boil proof Ply” or “water and boil proof plywood” and is used to determine the water resistance of the ply.
Common uses of Plywood
Based on the application and different characteristics of ply, it can mostly be used in following sector:
Flooring :- Ply can be used in the roof decking, and in subfloors for internal flooring projects.
Furniture :- Almost suitable for many furniture projects custom-built dressers, wardrobes, shelves, bookcases, tables, doors and many more.
Walls :- In common wall constructions for both interior and exterior walls, e.g. wood panelling, framing interior stud walls.
External walls :- external walls protective sheathings. Useful to keep frame structures intact and square. Ply used in this has better core external grade.
Structural systems :- In buildings and constructions, Mostly in projects where strength and durability are priorities.
Stud wall :- In-wall finish, for better thermal performance or to put behind plasterboard. UV protection from the sun after painting wall finish.
Suspended Ceilings :- Blank ply pattress is designed to be used for smooth surface applications and for decoration purposes and acrylic finish. Mostly used in ceilings to make it look pristine. Also can be used in spot light fixings.
Light doors :- Interior plywood panels is used in making light door because of its lightweight properties. Plywood flush doors are great for interior purposes and can be customised as per your requirements.
Is Plywood better than timber softwood?
It can be seen as a cost-effective building material that has a high strength to weight ratio. Since the multiple layers of sheets are glued together with cross-graining, ply tends to be much stronger and more flexible to use as compared to epoxy softwood timber premier grade.
Cross-graining is the process used in manufacturing sanded plywood model where wood grains are at right angles to each other. This method prevents the hardwood from splitting as well as reduces the risk of shrinkage and expansion as compared to other timber hardwood or MDF boards.
Ply has various advantages over traditional wood. It is flexible, less expensive, easy to work with(redesigning and shaping), and re-usable. It is resistant to warping, twisting, and cracking too. Not to forget a high degree of strength in ply sheets, it makes them being used widely in nowadays construction projects rather than any timber premier planed wood sheets.
What is external grade poplar?
External grade plywood is that which is used for external projects and has waterproof qualities. It is the most commonly used sheet and is expensive as compared to other ply and timber and is more durable and high in strength.
It is basically made by compressing thin layers of veneers that are glued together using WBP adhesives. External grade plywood gives a better quality knot-free surface finish. Because of the way veneers are glued together, it is resistant to shrinking or cracking which is less likely to split while screwing and nailing.Since the grains of Exterior Plywood are staggered and bonded together, it is very hard to bend, making it a good choice for projects that require strength.
What is cheap Plywood?
C-grade ply and D-grade ply is typically known as cheap plyboard. C-grade ply has upto 1.5 inches knots while d-grade ply has upto 2.5 inches knots in diameter.
What thickness does plywood come in the UK?
When it comes to choosing a plyboard, you need to consider its size and thickness that suit your project. Ply comes with a different number of plies that provide a wide range of applications. Hence, the thickness and strength can vary as per the type of material and the number of layers used for example, 12mm ply, 6mm ply, 18mm, 100 mm plywood, etc.
You can buy thicknesses from 1.5mm to 40mm. The most common dimensions for the board are 2440 x 1200mm. You can use a powered saw to cut the board in any size and length you need for your project. Using the right tools and accessories shop power to cut the board will prevent it from splintering.
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