In recent decades, we have seen the usage of different types of wood, even for designing the interior decoration and exterior of the building. Since modern styles have been invented for decoration design, people have a great acceptance of wooden facades; and especially for the design and construction of villas, they go for this natural material. Therefore, investors in the wood industry must know different types of wood in order to meet the needs of people. Plywood, for example, is one of the most common and widely used wood materials among carpenters, and in this article, we will introduce you to the characteristics of plywood, how it is made and the applications of this type of wood.
What is the Meaning of Plywood?
First we need to know how plywood is made. Suppose we have very thin layers of wood sheets. These layers, due to their small thickness, do not have the necessary efficiency and can’t be useful alone. If we stick these thin layers of wood on top of each other, a product called “Plywood” is produced which will have very high strength and durability. To make plywood, thin sheets of wood must be glued to each other, with heat and pressure, through very strong adhesives. In general, four types of adhesives are used to produce plywood, which are:
Adhesive Type A
This type of adhesive is made of phenol-formaldehyde resin, which is used to produce moisture-resistant plywood. This adhesive is very resistant to moisture and therefore is used for outdoor spaces. Accordingly, this type of plywood can be easily used for the exterior of the building because it is highly resistant to environmental conditions, especially moisture.
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Adhesive Type B
This type of adhesive, which is made of urea-formaldehyde resin, is also used to design plywood, suitable for outdoor use.
Adhesives of type C and D
Although this type of adhesive is also made from urea-formaldehyde resin, it can only be used for internal purposes. It is interesting to know that the difference between type C and D adhesives and type B adhesives is the usage of melamine in type B adhesives.
The Most Important Features of Plywood
- The first and main feature of plywood is its strength and durability. In the production of this product, thin sheets of wood are used and, under a certain amount of pressure and heat, through using glue, these sheets are placed on top of each other. Therefore, they have a lot of resistance and can easily withstand high weights.
- On the other hand, they have easy applicability in nailing process
- Also, these wooden products are quite resistant to chemicals and corrosion.
- Another feature of plywood is the stability of the dimensions of this wood product and if there are drastic changes in the environment, you will not see contraction and expansion in the wood. So you can be sure that the dimensions and size of the wooden furniture made of plywood will not change. That is why this type of wood is used for building facades.
- It is interesting to know that the endurance strength of plywood is much higher than ordinary wood.
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Introducing Different Types of Plywood
One of the most important issues in this topic is to know the types of plywood and their applications in the wood industry. Certainly, based on the number of layers, the type of wood used and the production method, the applications of plywood in the industry will also be different. Accordingly, plywood boards are divided into several categories:
Plywood for Construction
The first type of plywood is a type that is used in construction and even facades, due to its very high resistance to environmental conditions, especially moisture; and on the other hand, its durability, strength and pressure tolerance. This type of plywood is made of adhesive type A and its most important characteristics are:
- The strength of this type of plywood is very high.
- High resistance to environmental conditions, chemical agents and even corrosion.
- Its applicability is very high and it does not crack or break during nailing process.
- It will not change dimensions in different temperature conditions.
The most common use of indoor plywood is for interior decoration, as well as decorative objects. Type C or D adhesives will be used to make this type of plywood. Of course, it should be noted that if plywood is prepared with adhesive type C, it can be used in wet areas. The most important specifications of indoor plywood are:
- Possibility to be utilized conveniently, without modern equipment
- Having beauty in color and design and therefore the possibility of being used in interior decoration and decorative objects
- High efficiency in the wood industry
- Easy applicability in nailing process
Outdoor plywood can be used in non-structural panels or veneers, which are made of adhesive type A or B. Before using this type of plywood, reinforcement operation should be performed to avoid fungal attacks. The most important features of outdoor plywood are as follows:
- No change in wood dimensions, under environmental conditions
- Very diverse application
- Easy applicability in nailing process
- •Possibility to be utilized conveniently, without modern equipment
Another type of plywood that is produced through adhesive type A is a three-layer marine board, which is used to build boat hulls as well as offshore projects. Also, another application of marine plywood is in painting; because it has the possibility of being beautifully painted and glossed. Among the characteristics and features of marine plywood are:
- It has size stability against environmental conditions.
- This type of plywood is very high impact resistance and strength
- As mentioned, marine plywood can be painted
- It is very easy to work with marine plywood and you do not need to have modern and advanced equipment.
The Most Important Applications of Plywood
As you can see in this article, there are several types of plywood in the market, each one with its own characteristics. Even the difference in the type of adhesive can make the variety and applications of plywood more. Therefore, according to what has been said, the most important applications of plywood are:
- Some types of plywood can be used to design interior and exterior decoration.
- Some types of plywood are a very ideal option for making decorative items and even furniture.
The most common usage of plywood is for making boats and even equipment in offshore projects.
How Is Plywood Made?
A topic that will surely be interesting for you is how to make a three-layer board. The steps are as follows:
- In the first step, a suitable wood must be selected to make three-layer boards. Often, woodworkers turn to trees such as mahogany, cypress, and birch to make plywood. The quality of wood and its durability and strength affect the final properties of plywood. So this step is very important.
- Then the wood should be cut to the appropriate dimensions and placed in special steam tanks. The purpose of this work is to soften the wood to eliminate restrictions for cutting. Steaming wood allows us to cut even the hardest wood easily without any cracks.
- In the third step, we can cut the softened wood into pieces in the dimensions we intend, using a cutting machine, so that finally, suitable wooden sheets for making three-layer boards can be obtained. During cutting, some of these sheets get very small cracks that are not visible to the naked eye. Therefore, after preparing the wood sheets, it is necessary to use a scanner to remove any small defects inside these layers, because the smallest cracks and gaps in the wood sheets will reduce the durability and strength of the plywood.
- After the sheets are ready, we have to go to gluing them to get a three-layer board. Special adhesives are used for this purpose, but what is important is that after gluing, the forming press process is done. The plywood obtained by gluing the wood sheets is placed under the pressing machine until the gluing process is completed and there are no seams or gaps between the wood layers.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Plywood
Each wood product has its own advantages and disadvantages, and this issue will determine its range of function. The same is true for plywood. Therefore, we must be familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of plywood to be able to make the best use of this type of wood product:
Benefits of Plywood
- The light weight of the wood along with very high strength and durability
- Resistance to cracking and therefore the possibility of processing with any type of tool
- Resistance of plywood against different weather conditions
- To be economical
- The beautiful appearance and therefore the possibility of using it to make home decor items
Disadvantages of Plywood
Definitely, in addition to the advantages mentioned for plywood, we must also consider its disadvantages. plywood has two main disadvantages: high price and flammability. Therefore, it is not wise to use these wood products in work environments where there is a possibility of rising temperatures and resulting in fires.
Which Plywood is Suitable for Furniture?
Due to the fact that the three-layer board has high strength and durability, and on the other hand, a very beautiful appearance, it is also used to make furniture. In the construction of plywood, various types of wood sheets have been used, which increases its efficiency. If you want to use plywood to make furniture, you have to go for the types that primarily are beautiful in appearance. The attractiveness of the colors and designs on the plywood will definitely affect the final beauty of the furniture. On the other hand, wood must have the tooling capability because carvings are made on wood to make furniture. If the tooling capability of the wood used in the plywood is low, it will crack and break with the slightest impact.
Which Is Better, MDF or Plywood?
One of the common questions among users is that to make wooden furniture and even design decoration, is it better to go for plywood or use MDF? In answer to this question, we must examine the advantages and disadvantages of each of these two wood products. In this article, we talked about the advantages and disadvantages of plywood. So let’s make a comparison between plywood and MDF:
- In terms of costs, if you go to MDF, the final cost will definitely be more economical for you than plywood.
- In making MDF joints, a smooth surface will be obtained and as a result, it is much easier to paint.
- If you want to design the edges of a wooden device or the interior of the house with wood, by going for MDF, the work process will be easier for you. Since the MDF has a completely uniform texture, so when the cut is made on it, the cut edges are also completely smooth and you do not see any grooves or cuts.
- But in addition to these advantages, we must say that MDF acts like a sponge and absorbs all the moisture, so unlike plywood, it does not have good resistance to moisture.
- On the other hand, unlike plywood, MDF does not have a very good tooling capability, and if you want to insert a nail into it, the work becomes very difficult for you, especially since the thickness of MDF is more than plywood, and this is what makes the work harder.
- In the manufacture of MDF, volatile organic compounds called formaldehyde are used. This is very dangerous for carpenters who use MDF and must maintain proper ventilation.
Now, based on what has been said, do you think it is better to use MDF or to go for plywood? In answer to this question, we must think about what type of wooden tools we are going to make? For example, we know that MDF is not resistant to moisture, so using it to make furniture and even kitchen tables and chairs is not recommended because a little moisture on it will cause MDF to get swollen and thus lose its beauty. But we can also use MDF to make kitchen cabinets, work cabinets, shelves and frames. Although plywood is also suitable for making furniture, it will be more suitable for making stairs, boards, doors and wooden floors of the building because it has high moisture resistance. Therefore, in choosing MDF or plywood in the interior design of wooden furniture, we must look at the purpose of the work and then have the best choice.
The quality of the chosen wood for furniture, interior decoration and exterior application, not only determines its durability, but is also very important from an aesthetic point of view.
Finland Wood Company with a team of experienced specialists in the field of recognizing different types of wood, are ready to offer you a variety of wood products. For consultation from our experts, you can call the company numbers or use the online chat service of the website.