Plywood Specifications

Plywood is classified according to grades, which are based on face and back veneer quality.
The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australia (EWPAA) grading standards are as specified in the following table.

Most local plywood conforms to the PAA standard with imported plywood in compliance with other grading standards such as: BB/CC grade which conforms to the Japan Plywood Inspection Corporation (JPIC) standard. BB/CC grade plywood has a good face that may have small imperfections that are filled and sanded. ‘CC’ back may have rough patches and filled splits. Overlay and Better (OVL/BTR) is more of an appearance grade plywood that conforms to the International Hardwood Product Association (IHPA) that uses more veneer in construction to produce higher stress grade plywood.

A non-appearance grade, pallet grade veneer that has open imperfections such as holes, knots, splits and rough grain. Applications: temporary security covers, pallets, fillets & liners, general packaging, crates.

Plywood Grade Chart

Cabinetmakers Choice Plywood Grade A

A non-appearance grade, pallet grade veneer that has open imperfections such as holes, knots, splits and rough grain. Applications: temporary security covers, pallets, fillets & liners, general packaging, crates.

Cabinetmakers Choice Plywood Grade S

An appearance grade veneer which permits natural characteristics such as knots as a decorative feature subject to agreement. Applications: Decorative applications, interior wall lining, interior ceiling lining.

Cabinetmakers Choice Plywood Grade B

An appearance grade veneer suitable for high quality paint finishing. Applications: Furniture & joinery, concrete formwork, primary sheathing, signs, engineered components.

Cabinetmakers Choice Plywood Grade C

A non-appearance grade veneer with a solid surface. All imperfections such as knot holes or splits are filled. Applications: Concrete formwork, gussets, roof decking, flooring, sub sheathing, bins, boxes & crates, stressed skin panels, hoardings.

Cabinetmakers Choice Plywood Grade D

A non-appearance grade veneer with permitted open imperfections. Limited number of knot & knot holes up to 75mm wide are permitted. Applications: structural components, beams & portals, roofing, bracing, utility buildings.

Cabinetmakers Choice Plywood Grade PG

A non-appearance grade, pallet grade veneer that has open imperfections such as holes, knots, splits and rough grain. Applications: temporary security covers, pallets, fillets & liners, general packaging, crates.

Glue Bonds

Glues used to bond veneers together are an element that influences the application of the plywood. Common glues are as follows:

A Bond (WBP) – a waterproof glue line produced from phenolic resins (WBP-Water Boil Proof adhesive) that will not deteriorate under extreme conditions. It is readily recognisable by its black colour. Type A bond is specified in AS/NZS 2272 for marine plywood.

B Bond – produced from melamine fortified urea formaldehyde resin and suitable for limited exposure.

C&D Bond – produced from urea formaldehyde resin and suitable for interior use only.

Standards

Structural Plywood, manufactured to AS/NZS 2269 Plywood, is suitable for use in all permanent structural applications. A permanent Type A phenolic resin is used to bond the individual timber veneers. The Type A bond is distinctly dark in colour and is durable and permanent under conditions of full weather exposure, long term stress and combinations of exposure and stress.

Structural plywood is manufactured from a range of softwood and hardwood timber species. These timber species may not be durable when used in exposed weather situations. In exposed applications, structural plywood must be preservative treated to ensure it lasts its full service life and surface finished to minimise surface checking.

The engineering properties of structural plywood are tabulated in both AS/NZS 2269 and AS1720.1. Structural plywood engineering properties are given for eight standard stress grades, F7, F8, F11, F14, F17, F22, F27 & F34.

Treated Plywood

Plywoods made of timber species that are susceptible to termite and fungal attack (e.g. Radiata Pine) can be protected using one of the following treatments:

LOSP – Light Organic Solvent Preservative (H2, H3).
CCA – Copper Chrome Arsenic (H3-H5).
ACQ – Ammoniacal Copper Quaternary Compounds (H2-H4).

Hazard Types

H2 Products – Suitable for use indoors above ground for protection against borers and termites.
H3 Products – Suitable for use above ground outside exposed to the weather and dampness for protection against borers and termites and moderate decay.
H4 Products – Suitable for in-ground or ground contact use outdoors for protection against borers and termites and severe decay.
H5 Products – Suitable for in-ground, in water contact and ground contact as structural support components for protection against borers and termites and severe decay.

Application Chart

For more information on Plywood products
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For plywood grading standards see the table opposite

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