What is Plywood? Types of Plywood

Plywood is an engineered wood sheet material made up of fine layers or flimsy strands of wood veneers attached together placing wood grains 90 degrees to one another. It is one type of manufactured board which can be described as a mixture of Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF)and Chip Board (Particle Board). It is a complex material and attaches resin and fiber sheets of wood.

Plywood has become popular through this decade because it’s relatively low moisture content which makes various tasks easy to perform with this. Mostly for outdoor uses plywood has become very important to use. The renowned British powerboat company uses plywood for the construction of Motor Torpedo Boats and Motor Gun Boats.

Types of Plywood

Following are the different types of Plywood.

  • Softwood Plywood
  • Hardwood Plywood
  • Tropical Plywood
  • Aircraft Plywood
  • Decorative Plywood
  • Flexible Plywood
  • Marine Plywood

A brief description of these types of plywood is given below

Softwood Plywood

Softwood Plywood which is also known as spruce-pine-fir or SPF because it’s from spruce, pine, and fir. Though it can be made from cedar (Cedrussp), douglas fir (Pseudotsugan menziesii). If made from spruce (Picea sp) the prominent grains are coated by a system so that this kind of plywood becomes more effective as hard as concrete and used for shuttering strands and construction.

Hardwood Plywood

Hardwood Plywood is made from angiosperms. This type of plywood is identified by its firmness, hardness on surface, inflexibility, resistance quality. This can be used to bear heavy weight.

Tropical Plywood

Different types of timbers of tropical area are mixed to make this type of plywood. Though previously it was only collected from the Asian region, now also from Africa and America it is collected. Tropical plywood popular for some special qualities like





Resistance quality


South Asia being tropical region manufactures plywood most. Countries like Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Korea, Dubai and even in America, England this type is used. The bad impact of this type is that for extreme production of this type deforestration is becoming a great problem to some countries like Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia because of this countries export plywood worldwide. Specially Malaysian plywood is known as Malaysian board in Bangladesh and huge popular among bangladeshies because of its higher thickness.

Aircraft Plywood

Woods from Mahogany (Swietenia Macrophylla), Spruce (Picea sp.), Birch (Betula sp.) are used to make Aircraft Plywood. The African mahogany gives usable structural aircraft plywood. Among birch trees European birch is good. This type is famous for strength. This type is also made from Mahogany, Spruce, Birch but the special quality is that this is resistant to heat.

Decorative Plywood

Decorative plywood is also called overlaid plywood. Usually made from woods of ash ( Fraxinus sp), oak (Quercus sp.), Red oak (Quercus rubra), birch, Maple (Acer sp), mahogany, Philippine mahogany also called seraya, rosewood ( Dalbergia sisso).

Flexible Plywood

As the name goes Flexible Plywood is used for making flexible furniture or structures. The furniture of eighteen century were mostly of curved structures. These are made from Baltic Birch ( Betula sp).

Marine Plywood

The type of plywood which can be used in moisture, humid, wet environment is called marine plywood. Even it can be used in moisture for long period. The layers of marine plywood bear too small core gap to feel that doesn’t permit the wood to fix water inside the gaps. It is also fungal resistant.