Types Of Plywood

- Jan 12, 2019-

invention of plywood

      According to Wikipedia plywood invented in 1797 by Samuel Bentham. and About fifty years later Immanuel Nobel. father of Alfred Nobel, realized that several thinner layers of wood bonded together. would be stronger than one single thick layer of wood. understanding the industrial potential of laminated wood he invented the rotary lathe.

     Plywood is a sheet which made from thin layers of wood. These thin (1.5mm to 2.5 mm) layers of wood called core. When these cores glued and stacked in alternate directions layer. by layer to form plywood. Front and back side covered by very thin layer (about 0.5mm) of wood veneer which known as face of ply.

     The history of plywood is a history of the modern world. Combining lightness, strength. and flexibility, plywood's story is a fascinating account of social. technological and design change over the past 170 years. Take a journey, through ten-ish plywood objects. from a leg splint to the fastest aeroplane of the Second World War. from the Antarctic to the Finnish forests, from the handmade to the cut.

     Plywood  made by gluing together thin sheets of wood called veneers. with the grain of each sheet running in an alternate direction. This creates a material that is stronger and more flexible than solid wood. The technique has been around for a long time. as early as 2600 BC in ancient Egypt – but it was not until the 1850s that plywood started to used on an industrial scale.

      Chair (front and rear views). designed and manufactured by John Henry Belter, about 1860, New York. Museum no. W.2-1971. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

     It has always assumed that the history of plywood was that of the flat board. This is not the case. Between 1850 and 1890 moulded plywood was the most common form of the material. and furniture design the driver of innovation in its use.

     The back of this chair, manufactured in around 1860, made of moulded plywood. It made according to a technique for moulding furniture. that patented in New York in 1858 by John Henry Belter. His technique increased the speed of manufacture. and reduced production costs as chair backs. could made in batches of eight using a single mould.

     Print, full-scale prototype of an. elevated plywood railway in operation at the American Institute Fair. New York, 1867. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

     During the 1800s designers and engineers. were exploring ways to deal with crowded and chaotic city streets. In 1863 London opened the world's first underground railway. an incredible feat of engineering but with several fundamental flaws. it was very expensive to build underground and the air quality in the tunnels was poor. But, it was very successful for reducing congestion. and other cities soon began to experiment with railways. that moved traffic off the streets.

      In 1867 a 107-foot long prototype elevated railway, made as a moulded plywood tube. exhibited at the American Institute Fair in New York. Seventy-five thousand people rode this extraordinary train, which propelled by large fans. The designer, Alfred E. Beach, planned for the railway to installed across the city. raised above the streets either on columnar supports. or attached to the sides of buildings. Plywood's strength and lightness made it a good. and cheap alternative to an underground railway of cast iron.

     It was not until the 1880s that plywood boards began to made on a large scale. The Russian company A. M. Luther manufactured them in huge quantities. and their most successful board products were tea chests and packing cases.

      These plywood packing cases gained special notoriety. from their use in Ernest Shackleton's 1907 – 09 Antarctic expedition. The expedition required over 2500 cases to carry provisions and equipment. Plywood chosen for its lightness and strength. The cases were able to withstand extreme Antarctic conditions. including buried beneath ice during blizzards. They reused by the crew to make furniture for their living quarters and as covers. and binding for Aurora Australis. the first book to written, illustrated, printed, published and bound in the Antarctic. Shackleton and his crew took a printing press on their expedition to 'guard [them]. from the danger of lack of occupation during the polar night'.

      The company's advertising campaign focussed on the canoe's strength and durability. Advertisements showed the canoe supporting "seven grown men. a six-foot length of 12x12 inch solid oak timber. a hull full to the gunwale of damp sand [1551 kg/3420 lbs in total]", or surviving thrown. from the second-storey window of the Haskell factory.

     The Haskell company later used their experience with moulding. and water-resistant glues in the manufacture of plywood plane and vehicles.

      Armchair, designed by Alvar Aalto, 1932, Finland. Museum no. W.41-1987. © Alvar Aalto Museum. Photograph Victoria and Albert Museum, London

From the 1920s, modernist architects and designers began to exploit . and celebrate plywood's ability to  shaped into curved forms. Plywood was of particular interest. as it considered an industrial material – it was well suited to mass manufacture. and its factory production symbolised the new machine age.

      This chair designed by the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. for the Paimio Tuberculosis Sanitorium in Finland. and made in a small factory. The thin, light and curved plywood seat suspended between two narrow frames. giving the impression of a seat floating on air.

     In 1933 the same factory began manufacturing the chairs for general sale. alongside other furniture designs by Aalto. His furniture exported in large quantities to the UK and the USA. where its innovative use of plywood had a significant impact on other designers.

      Full-scale house, built at the 1937 Madison Home Show to. show the US Forest Product Laboratory’s plywood prefabrication system. Photographs courtesy of USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory

     In the United States schemes to create cheap. factory-produced houses flourished during the 1930s. This motivated by high unemployment. small household incomes and a shortage of low cost housing. during the Great Depression. Designs for prefabricated houses focused on quick fabrication and easy . Plywood suited to standardised, lightweight panel systems which could be factory-produced. and assembled on site. The invention of synthetic glues in the mid-1930s also meant that plywood manufacturers. could produce new waterproof plywoods, ideal for exterior use.

      During the Depression the US Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) published schemes. for an experimental 'all-wood' house that could be factory-produced using standard plywood panels. then erected on site. In 1936 they built a demonstration house at the Madison Home Show. Twelve thousand visitors queued to see the furnished house. They marvelled at the fact that the parts made in a factory and the house could built by seven men in only 21 hours.

      Cut-away car (F7 model), designed and manufactured by DKW, Germany. designed 1937, manufactured 1938. Collection of the Deutsches Museum, Munich. Photograph Victoria and Albert Museum, London 

      Throughout the 20th century designers and engineers. experimented with plywood as a material for vehicle construction. Often stronger, lighter and more elastic than metal, plywood used flat. and also moulded for the bodies of cars, sidecars and vans. Plywood's use in cars was often influenced by aeroplane and boat design. and many companies worked across several of these fields. The French entrepreneur Georges Lévy, for example. designed both plywood sidecars and seaplanes. the floats on the seaplanes re-using the rounded form of the sidecar's body.

      From 1928, the German company DKW used moulded. and flat plywood for the body of their affordable family cars. Combatting prejudice that plywood was less reliable than metal, DKW emphasised. its unique properties – strong and stress-bearing, easy to repair. and quieter on the road due to better suspension. DKW's advertisements demonstrated plywood's strength and modern. industrial credentials by showing photographs of factory workers standing on a plywood board. balanced on the roof of one of their cars.

     Plywood's most significant use from the 1910s to 1945 was as a material for aeroplane design. Its strength and lightness allowed for the construction of radical new planes. that revolutionised the nature of flight. In the early 1910s, ground-breaking experiments with moulded plywood. allowed for the construction of the first enclosed, streamlined aeroplane fuselages. These moulded plywood shells – known as 'monocoque' . were strong enough to be self-supporting, meaning. that the planes did not need significant. internal structure or cross-bracing. The revolutionary 'monocoque' fuselage became standard in future aeroplane design.

      The British de Havilland Mosquito (DH-98) was the fastest. highest-flying aeroplane of the Second World War. Its moulded plywood monocoque fuselage made it light. and quick enough to fly without defensive weaponry. The Air Ministry wanted to commission a metal plane. De Havilland convinced them to trial the Mosquito as a low-cost design. that could made using workers from furniture. and other wood working factories in Britain.  Australia and Canada.

        Left to right: Leg splint, designed by Charles and Ray Eames, 1941 – 42. Museum no. W.31-2016. © Eames Office, LLC (eamesoffice.com). Photograph Victoria and Albert Museum, London; DCM chair. designed by Charles and Ray Eames, 1945, manufactured about 1947. Museum no. W.7-2017. © Eames Office, LLC (eamesoffice.com). Photograph Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

       American designers Charles. and Ray Eames experimented with plywood during the Second World War. developing a method for moulding complex curved forms. In 1942 they designed a lightweight, stackable moulded plywood leg splint for the US Navy. Later in the war they went on to make plywood parts for aircraft.

        The Eames's design for the DCM (dining chair metal). with its three-dimensionally moulded seat was  influenced by their wartime work. It was one of the most influential chairs of the second half of the 20th century. and imitated and adapted by designers around the world. British designer Robin Day said of the period: "Every designer I knew had a picture of the Eames chair [the DCM] . pinned to their drawing board".

     The 1950s and '60s saw an explosion of do-it-yourself. Plywood was particularly suitable for working at home. Easy to shape. it did not require complicated tools, was forgiving of amateur workmanship. and integrated into post-war leisure culture.

    The Mirror dinghy, made of marine plywood, was and remains. one of the most popular boats of the 20th and 21st centuries. Sold as a kit of parts for home assembly. it intended to be affordable and aimed at a wide market of beginner sailors. The dinghy used a construction method advertised. as 'Stitch and Glue' in which plywood panels joined by loops of copper. wire threaded through drilled holes. This allowed for very easy construction by amateurs with no experience of woodworking.

     Plywood is one of the most common materials of the digital age. Makers and designers share plywood projects around the world. either by distributing digital cutting files for CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines. or with videos and images posted online.

     The company Opendesk holds no stock and operates online. Under a system of distributed manufacturing their designs. can downloaded anywhere in the world for cutting on a CNC router. a computer controlled machine that cuts with a rotating bit called an endmill. Individuals can make the furniture themselves, or put in touch with a local maker. all Opendesk designs are plywood. The material chosen after balancing cost. availability and global standardisation, to ensure uniform construction.

plywood building material  development

      In 1812, French machinists obtained the first patent for a veneer saw. By 1825, the veneer saw could not used in industrial production. Since then, it has improved and manufactured in Hamburg, Germany. The first veneer planer developed by Charles Picot of France. It patented in 1834 and as used in industrial production for 30 years. The development of plywood industry benefits from the invention. and application of veneer rotary cutting machine. 

      There are several opinions about the invention of the first rotary cutting machine. The first rotary cutting machine invented. in 1818; Professor Fevilear of Russia invented the rotary cutting machine in 1819. which called thin wood planing at that time. some people thought that the rotary cutting machine invented by Fevilear. a British engineer. John Dresser got the American rotary cutting in 1840. Machine patent No. 1758, in 1844 Carand obtained another patent for rotary cutting machine in France. In the mid-19th century, Germany established its first veneer manufacturing plant. Most of the rotary cutting machines made in France. Germany also imported American-made rotary cutting machines. 

      After 1870, A. Roller Company in Berlin, Germany, produced simple rotary cutting machines. Before the First World War, the rapid development of plywood industry promoted. by the continuous progress of rotary cutting technology. In the 1990s, the quality of plywood improved. Since then, the market has opened up. The production of plywood has developed and many plywood factories have established. In the United States, plywood did not become a formal commodity name until World War I.

invention of plywood

Plywood types

Softwood  plywood  

Softwood is a type of plywood. that manufacturers make using softwoods, like pine, redwood, or cedar. Although the name implies that these woods aren’t as strong as others. you might surprised to know that construction workers use softwoods. for exterior frame sheathing, roof sheathing. and sub-flooring.

Softwood plywood can also create things like sheds. temporary flooring, doghouses, shelving, and more.

Hardwood  plywood  

Baltic birch plywood with slight knot pattern and mineral streaks.

Hardwood plywood has between three. and seven layers and uses hardwoods, like birch, maple, oak. and walnut. Manufacturers glue the layers of wood at right angles to one another to create an strong finish.

Hardwoods are best for things like furniture, packing cases, sporting equipment, musical instruments. and other intricate projects that need strong frames.

Exterior  plywood  

Marine grade plywood with exterior glue and no voids between plys.

Exterior plywood has weather and water-resistant glue that holds each veneer together. When you create an exterior with plywood. one of the biggest – and most important – concerns is how the wood will handle wind, rain, and other weather. Exterior wood meant to combat the elements to provide a strong, sturdy frame for years to come.

Exterior plywood sheets have several veneers glued together, classifying them as multi-ply. You can also choose various kinds of wood for exterior plywood, depending on the area in which you live. Some locations that experience harsh seasons may fair better with wood like oak. which can resist mildew and mold from damp conditions.

Marine  plywood  

Marine plywood known as the strongest and most durable plywood.

You might think that the name of marine plywood. also known as marine-grade wood indicates that it’s waterproof. but that’s not the case. Instead, wood manufacturers make marine plywood. with water-resistant exterior glue using the same layered construction. as other woods.

The difference is in the grade of marine types. According to the APA – Engineered Wood Association. marine-grade wood consists of Western Larch or Douglas Fir woods and must have a B-grade or better. which we’ll discuss in the “More Details” section of this guide. This kind of wood is one of the best-constructed, high-graded plywood on the market.

Marine-grade wood isn’t resistant to mold, mildew, or rot from weather and water. Manufacturers don’t treat it with any chemicals. so rot and decay can be a problem unless you treat it with a pressure-preservative, as suggested by the APA.

To graded as marine-grade, this wood must have no knotholes in any of its plies. and use a top-performing water-resistant glue between plies. This ensures that the glue won’t stop working if the wood becomes damp from weather or wet conditions.

Overlaid Plywood

Overlaid plywoods are usually glued with veneers and it gives somewhat finished appearance.

Overlaid plywood, which can be either high. or medium density (HDO or MDO), is a kind that utilizes the same structure of regular sheets . with veneers glued to one another. but, overlaid sheets have an overlaid face. that gives it a somewhat finished appearance.

The finished exterior isn’t for decoration. but instead gives the panels a durable surface. that’s also smooth enough to keep water and other particles from damaging or sticking to it. The coating also helps the wood resist scratches. and other abrasions that may happen during transport and construction.

Manufacturers bond the exterior. surfaces to the rest of the veneers through a process of heat and pressure. High-density overlaid panels have more resin than medium-density panels. making them a bit more expensive. but, both can make a finished project stronger. and more durable than can traditional plywood.

Structural  plywood  

Sheathing plywood made for framing and building structures because of its strength.

Structural plywood, also known as sheathing plywood. is not for looks, but rather, strength for framing and building structures in which you’ll cover the wood. This type of wood needs a very strong adhesive to keep the plies together.

You can use structural woods on the inside or outside of a building. but they aren’t as weather-resistant as other types. Structural woods usually have a C or D grade, but no higher. so they’ll be an inexpensive option compared to some woods. but they also may not have the high performance you need for outdoor structures.

invention of plywood FAQ

 Is plywood used for furniture?

      Specialized furniture-grade plywood is often used in furniture. This type of wood has a specific hardwood surface veneer. and it used in bare furniture, wall paneling and cabinetry. Because of how plywood treated and stained, there is also a great deal of variety. that buyers can enjoy when it comes to purchasing plywood for furniture.

What is plywood used for?

      Plywood is an versatile product, and it can used in a wide variety of applications. based on various factors like reinforcing layers and decorative surfacing. Because of its strength and affordability, it is often used in both interior. and exterior construction applications, ranging from things like formwork to internal paneling. Application based on four types of plywood design. which include: structural, exterior, interior, and marine.

Can plywood recycled?

     The way in which plywood recycled depends on the type used. Untreated, unstained, and unpainted plywoods are often converted into woodwaste. This can later turned into compost or mulch. The wood may also used for animal bedding, landscaping, and raw soil improvement. Solid pieces of plywood may repurposed by end-users to establish a dis


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