What is Plywood? Advantages & Disadvantages of Plywood


All About Plywood

Plywood’s are engineered products that are exclusively crafted by piling and gluing together thin sheets of wood. These thin sheets of wood used in the process of making plywood are known as ‘plies’. Hence, the finished product got popularized by the name ‘plywood’. The logs or the tree trucks utilized in the making of ply sheets are first steamed or sometimes dipped in heated water. The treated logs are then fitted into a lathe machine to carry out the process of slicing the log into slender plies. The ideal dimension of a ply ranges from 1 mm to a thickness of 4 mm. This multifaceted product has many benefits to offer to its user. The benefits of plywood also depend upon the variety of its kind. Let us check out the range of plywood the market has in store for us to suit our requirements in the best way possible.

The Range of Plywood

The plywood collection of a market includes:

Softwood Plywood

Softwood plywood, also commonly known as ‘SPF’ or ‘Spruce Pine Fir’is a product crafted from the trunk of quality coniferous trees: spruce, pine, and fir. The natural grains found in the wood of these trees make this kind of plywood unique. The softwood plywood imparts effective results in the field of construction like shuttering and also other industrial usages.

Hardwood Plywood

This variety of plywood is known for its durability, sturdiness and the compact feature. This kind of plywoods is carved out of the trunks of seed-bearing trees called the angiosperm.  Hardwood plywood is most commonly used for the flooring purpose along with providing the framework for the walls of any infrastructure. Another distinctive use of this plywood is the preparation of blades for turbines that are installed in hefty ‘windy machinery’.

Tropical Plywood

It is another variety of plywood which is to be found in the market. Tropical plywood board is crafted from an assortment of different Asian timbers which combines to produce a final product that is durable, thick, strong and smooth. The natural granules and texture of this plywood aids in carpenting sophisticated furniture and floorings.

The use of this plywood is common in commercial areas too.

Aircraft Plywood

The woods that are derived from trees like Mahogany, Spruce, Birch etc proves to be the best for carving out aircraft plywood. The two most significant properties of aircraft plywood are:

  1. Resistance against heat
  2. Strength

History unfolds the usage of aircraft plywood during the British rule in aircraft used by them. It was also used as a protective shield in World War II to get relief from ariel attack.

Flexible Plywood

As the name suggests, flexible plywood has the unique flexible property. It is mostly used to design curved furniture or any curvature woodworks. This ‘bendy plywood’ made from the ‘Baltic Birch’ wood was extensively used in the Victorian era for crafting elegant furniture and in the making of ‘stovepipe’ hats.

Marine Plywood

This unique plywood comes with significant properties like water and moisture defiant, fungal attack resistant and can withstand humid conditions. Due to the presence of these features, ships, boats, outdoor chairs and benches and other equipment and vehicles that have a constant association with water are crafted out of marine plywood. Even though this variety of plywood is little expensive compared to the rest of the collection, people prefer the plywood as it increases the longevity of the byproducts.

Decorative Plywood

Decorative Plywood can be carved out of woods of rosewood, red oak, oak, mahogany etc. this plywood is basically used for making panels and furniture.

Advantages & Disadvantages

First, let us count the advantages of Plywood:

  • Plywood sheets are made up of a number of layers which makes the object strong and durable.
  • It is immune to fissures and deformity.
  • The sheets are economical compared to wooden boards.
  • A wide array of options for plywood are available in the market.

The Disadvantages

  • Thin layers of plies within the sheet may lead to a vulnerable condition of the plywood if exposed to water for a long time.
  • Plywood becomes weighty if water penetrates through it. Therefore, an extra protective coating is mandatory.

This handy material is adorned at almost all the places of woodworks as it proves to be an excellent economical substitute for wood. Plywood shines in the wood industry because of the versatile qualities it posses and also the advantages that overpowers its negative facts. These points will help you guide your next plywood purchase.

Author Bio: Nishant Gupta is the founder of Simply Interiors with more than 5 years of experience in FMCG (CPG and Retail domain). He is adept at operations along with marketing and finance. We at Simply Interiors are leading interior designers in Bangalore and one of our areas of Specialization is Room Painting Ideas for your Home. Come meet the experts for your next project.

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