Plywood is wood veneers bonded together to produce a flat sheet. An extremely versatile product, plywood is used for a wide range of structural, interior and exterior applications - from formwork through to internal paneling. MTIB Timber Services stock large quantities of both exterior grade plywood ("hardwood plywood") and builder's grade plywood. Plywood offers the following benefits:
- Increased stability - Plywood offers all the inherent advantages of the parent wood plus enhanced properties in its laminated structure.
- High impact resistance - Plywood's laminated structure distributes loads from impact over a larger area on the opposite face, which effectively reduces the tensile stress.
- Surface dimensional stability - Cross laminated construction ensures that sheets remain relatively stable under changes of temperature and moisture. This is especially important in flooring and formwork construction where moisture exposure is very likely.
- High strength to weight ratio - With high strength and stiffness to weight ratios, plywood is very cost effective to use in structural applications such as flooring, shearwalls, formwork and webbed beams.
- Panel shear - The panel shear of plywood is nearly double that of solid timber due its cross laminated structure. This makes plywood a highly effective material to use in gussets for portal frames, webs of fabricated beams and as bracing panels.
- Chemical resistance - Plywood does not corrode and can be used in chemical works and cooling towers as a cost-effective, durable material when preservative treated.
Oriented Strand Board (OSB)
MTIB stock large quantities of Oriented Strand Board (OSB), which is a structural panel product produced by bonding together thin wood strands with adhesive.
Wax is added to the resin to increase the moisture resistant properties. The strands are generally oriented with the grain direction in the major longitudinal direction in the outer layers and in the cross direction in the inner layers of the sheet to provide panel dimensional stability. Once in place, the strands will form a large continuous mat. The mat is then heat and pressure cured, which helps to create a uniform finish. It has similar properties to plywood, yet is generally more cost-effective to produce and is also stronger than particleboard. OSB can be used for internal and external applications.
Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF)
Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) is a reconstituted wood panel product. It is a dry-processed fibreboard manufactured from wood fibres, as opposed to veneers or particles, and is denser than plywood and particleboard. MDF has an even density throughout and is smooth on both sides. Bonding is achieved by the addition of synthetic resin adhesives, which are cured under heat and pressure. Paraffin wax is added to assist with water repellency, while other chemicals can be added during manufacturing for more specific protection.
MDF is primarily used for internal use applications, in part due to its poor moisture resistance. It is available in raw form with a fine sanded surface or with decorative overlay such as wood veneer, melamine paper or vinyl.
Chipboard is a reconstituted wood panel product manufactured from wood particles. A mat of individual wood particles is coated in adhesive resin and pressed together into a finished panel. As the wood fibres in the particles are randomly oriented, the finished panel has uniform properties in each direction. We supply structural grade board, which is primarily used for internal flooring but may be used for other load-bearing applications in dry conditions.