Wood is one of the most popular natural building materials available mainly because of its low heat conductivity, high strength and amenability to mechanical working. However, there are different types of wood, and structural plywood is a common one. Unlike traditional timber, structural plywood has made a name for itself as one of the most stable woods in the market. This has made plywood the wood of choice for different types of DIY construction projects. However, apart from the well-known benefits mentioned earlier, what are the hidden benefits of structural plywood? Read on.
No Issues with Close Edge Nailing — When using timber as a construction material, the number one objective for builders is to keep most of the wood's surface area free. This can only be achieved if the nailing is restricted on the edges of the wood panels. Unfortunately, this is not possible with standard wood because nailing close to the panel edges increases the chances of splintering. Not only are splintered edges dangerous, but they also weaken the panels. Structural plywood does not face this problem because the panels are held together tightly thanks to the class A–bond glue. Therefore, plywood panels are best used for load-bearing walls where aesthetics is just as important as the wall's structural performance.
High Dimensional Stability — When wood loses or gains moisture, it will naturally shrink or swell, thereby altering its dimensions — width, length and thickness. Since different types of wood have varying moisture absorption and loss rates, one must factor the environment they are going to use the wood. Such behaviour can be frustrating, especially if you have to line several long planks alongside each other, such as on decks. Due to the high dimensional stability of structural plywood, you do not have to worry about panels changing size during wet or dry conditions. This is because the longitudinal stability of the adjacent panels restricts the crosswise expansion or shrinking of plywood veneers.
Non-Corrosive — From stairway balustrades to roof trusses, wood and metal have been used together since time immemorial. It is no wonder that metal and wood have been dubbed compatible materials by experts in the construction sector. However, there are some situations where wood and metal do not work well together, for example, because of corrosion. This can be attributed to the fact that timber contains complex organic molecules and water. At high humidities, the rate of corrosion of metal parts on solid wood increases significantly. Luckily, treated structural plywood does not contain these components, and this makes it non-corrosive. Therefore, you do not have to worry about reactive interactions between metal and structural plywood.
Hello, my name is Carl and this is my construction and contractor blog. I do not work in the construction business but last year, my wife and I had a lot of work carried out on our summer home which is located on the Gold Coast. Winter storms had damaged the roof and a couple of seabirds had made a nest in there. The place was a real mess but thankfully the contractors did a great job of repairing the roof and fixing up the damage to the loft space. I learn a lot during the repairs so I decided to start a new blog. Enjoy!