Plywood is a versatile wood product with applications ranging from woodworking to home building. Manufacturers shave thin wood layers, called veneers, from logs. They flatten and grade the veneers, then glue them together in a process that uses heat and pressure. The number of plywood layers is usually an odd-number such as three-ply plywood, five-ply plywood, etc, so that the fiber directions of the adjacent veneers are vertically glued to each other. Plywood is a common artificial board. It can improve the utilization of wood which is a major way to save wood.
Standard Widths and Lengths
The most common plywood sheet dimension, 4 feet by 8 feet, translates to the metric dimensions of 1,220 by 2,440 millimeters. You can also buy oversized 5-foot-wide utility-grade plywood with lengths of 6, 8 and 10 feet. All but the oversized sheets are available in metric equivalents.
Nominal and Actual Thicknesses
The nominal thicknesses of plywood range from 1/8 inch, or 3.2 mm, to 1 1/4 inches, which is equivalent to 31.75 mm. These often aren't the actual thicknesses, however, because sanding during manufacturing removes up to 1/32 inch of material. Thus, a plywood sheet with a nominal thickness of 3/8 inch is actually 11/32 inch thick. Standard nominal thicknesses include 1/8, 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, 3/4, 1 1/8 and 1 1/4 inches. These correspond to actual thicknesses of 1/8, 1/4, 11/32, 15/32, 19/32, 23/32, 1 1/8 and 1 1/4 inches, respectively. In metric terms, the nominal thicknesses are 3, 6, 10, 13, 16, 19, 28 and 32 mm.
1. Plywood for finishing: this type of plywood is mainly used for furniture, sewing machine table panels and various electrical housing products that require transparent coating on the surface.
2. Plywood for decoration: this plywood is mainly used for construction, furniture, vehicles and ships.
3. Plywood for general use: this type of plywood is suitable for packaging, cushioning and other purposes.
4. Veneer decorative plywood: this type of plywood is mainly used for construction, furniture, vehicles, ships and other advanced decorative materials.