"Advantages of Plywood over Wood: A critical analysis"
By Suvajit Guha
Engineered wood makers, furniture manufacturers, aficionados and end users- everybody has at some point in their lives participated in this debate "Which is better-solid wood or plywood?" This is a pet topic of most enthusiasts and it has kept the pot simmering ever since the invention of plywood.
This article aims to compare plywood against wood and present irrefutable points in favour of plywood. We would analyze the attributes of the two materials based on the following 9 parameters:
- Strength- Wood is many times stronger along the grain than across it. Crossing the adjacent sheets tends to distribute the strength equally in all directions. When decorative laminates or wood veneers are pasted on this cross-layered surface with adhesives like Phenol Formaldehyde or Urea Formaldehyde, the strength of plywood becomes more than even that of solid wood.
- Light Weight- Plywood is far more lighter than solid wood. This makes it more suited to crafting different types of furniture. It's area of application is wider than conventional wood, the weight of which often makes it unwieldy and unsuitable for use.
- Non-splitting qualities- Although wood is tough, it has a tendency to split along the grain, under strain. But plywood due to its cross-layered surface can withstand greater amount of strain and hence it can be nailed or screwed along the edges without damage.
- Large Size- Plywood is generally available in larger sizes than natural wood. Standard plywood sheets come in the size of 8ft*4ft. But procuring one wooden plank or log of that size and making furniture out of it would be really very difficult. Although not very common, plywood sheets of sizes 6ft*25ft are also not unheard of. Now one can well imagine the impracticality of making furniture from a wooden plank of that size.
- Creating curved surfaces- It is easier to make curved forms with plywood than with wood. Chipping wood to make curved surfaces are never as smooth as that done with plywood. It is easier to give any desired shape using plywood. Solid hardwood lacks that quality.
- Greater square foot coverage is achieved in plywood veneer in comparison to solid wood.
- Environmentally safe and reduces Deforestation- One huge advantage of plywood is that it results in conservation of timber as it requires lesser quantity of log than in wood which is completely solid. Also there is no worry of having to deal with the waste that is produced due to sawing.
- Beauty- Although natural wood surfaces are attractive, using decoratives on a plywood surface which matches and complements the plywood surface, can accentuate the beauty of the product many times more. Decorative effect is enhanced by the regularity or symmetry of the design of the decorative laminates or veneers.
- Cost Advantage- The greatest advantage of plywood over wood is that it is far more economical than wood. It is also very versatile. The range of designs available in the market in plywood is also way more.
For most practical purposes, plywood is a very good choice. The reader might want to get himself acquainted with the entire range of plywood and other products available from the stable of SPIL and in such a case it would be a good idea to check out their company website www.sardaplywood.in . The company has been crafting quality for over 55 years and today 'Duro', the flagship brand of SPIL is considered synonymous with excellence. It has developed an enviable product portfolio and has created a premium positioning in the mind space of its target group through constant product innovations. It's worth a try!