The need for new construction materials is something the construction industry sees every year. Researchers and industry professionals are constantly exploring for innovative building materials to solve the issues caused by conventional construction materials. Plywood has emerged as one of the most attractive building materials, making a significant impact on the wood industry. Due to the advantages of plywood, it has surpassed more conventional building materials like bricks, natural wood, plastic, etc. in wide use today. The properties of flexibility, strength, and lightness make plywood an excellent material.
Properties of Plywood
The followings are the major properties of plywood that we need to know about.
- High Strength and Dimensional Stability
- High Impact Resistance
- Panel Shear or Braced Panels Shear
- Water and Chemical Resistance
- Flexibility or Bendability
- Fire Resistance
- Sound and Thermal Insulation
In the following segment, details of these plywood properties are discussed in detail.
1. High Strength and Dimensional Stability
Plywood is an engineered wood product made from thin sheets of wood veneer, called plies. The plies are glued together in alternating, perpendicular directions to create a strong, rigid panel.
Plywood is an extremely versatile material and can be used for a variety of applications, including flooring, wall panels, and roofs. It is also one of the most dimensionally stable wood products available, meaning it is less likely to warp or shrink over time.
2. High Impact Resistance
The high impact resistance property of plywood makes it a popular material for construction and manufacturing applications. This property allows the plywood to withstand high levels of stress without breaking. The strength and durability of plywood make it a popular choice for applications that require a strong and durable product.
3. Panel Shear or Braced Panels Shear
Plywood panels are very strong in shear and are often used as shear walls in construction. The panels are glued together with a strong adhesive, and the joints are reinforced with staples or nails. The panels are also often used as bracing in construction and are very effective in this application.
When a plywood panel is sheared, the glue that holds the panels together breaks down. The panels can then be pulled apart along the joints, which causes the panels to stretch and tear. The stresses that are applied to the panel during shear can also cause the panel to fracture.
Braced panels are designed to resist shear. The panels are usually made of two pieces of wood that are attached at the edges and at the corners. The edges of the panels are also sometimes reinforced with brackets.
When a panel is sheared, the forces that are applied to the edges of the panel are spread out over a larger area. This limits the amount of damage that is caused to the panel and prevents the panel from fracture.
4. Water and Chemical Resistance
Plywood is generally considered to be a durable material, but its water and chemical resistance depends on the type of wood used, the adhesives used to bind the layers of wood together, and the finish applied to the surface. Some types of plywood are more resistant to water and chemicals than others.
The most resistant plywood is made from hardwood, such as maple or birch. These types of plywood are resistant to water and most chemicals. However, they are not very resistant to fire. Hardwood plywood is also generally more expensive than other types of plywood.
Other types of plywood are more resistant to water and chemicals, but less resistant to fire. These types of plywood are made from softwood, such as pine or poplar. They are also less expensive than hardwood plywood. However, they are not as resistant to water or chemicals as hardwood plywood.
The type of finish applied to the surface of plywood also affects its water and chemical resistance. The most resistant types of plywood have a matte finish. This type of finish is resistant to water and most chemicals. However, it is not resistant to fire. The least resistant types of plywood have a glossy finish. This type of finish is resistant to water and most chemicals but is not resistant to fire.
5. Flexibility or Bendability
Plywood is flexible, but not to the point where it can be rolled up. It is possible to bend plywood, but it requires a lot of force and is not recommended without the proper tools and expertise. Bending plywood can cause it to crack or break, so it is important to be careful when doing so.
6. Fire Resistance
Fire-resistant plywood is a type of plywood that is designed to resist fire. It is often used in commercial and industrial buildings where fire safety is a concern. Fire-resistant plywood is made with a fire-retardant resin that helps to prevent the spread of fire.
7. Sound and Thermal Insulation
Plywood is a strong and lightweight panel material made from thin sheets of wood veneered with layers of paper. It is an excellent thermal insulation material because it allows the transfer of heat through the panels rather than allowing it to transfer through the substrate. This makes plywood an ideal material for building insulating walls, floors, and roofs.
Plywood is also a good sound insulation material. It absorbs sound waves and prevents them from traveling through the material. This makes it an ideal material for soundproofing rooms and enclosures.