Plywood is a manufactured wood panel made from thin sheets of wood veneer; it is one of the most widely used wood products. It is flexible, inexpensive, workable, and re-usable. Plywood is used instead of plain wood because of its resistance to cracking, shrinkage, splitting, and warping, as well as its strength.

Plywood layers (called veneers) are glued together with adjacent plies having their wood grain at right angles to each other. There are usually an odd number of plies so that the sheet is balanced. This cross-graining has several benefits:

  • It reduces the tendency of wood to split when nailed at the edges.
  • It reduces expansion and shrinkage, improving dimensional stability.
  • It makes the strength of the panel consistent across both directions.

Plywood has a huge range of construction uses, including:

  • Partitions or external walls.
  • Formply for concrete.
  • Cabinets.
  • Subflooring.

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