Reconstructed Veneers,Reconstituted veneer is made from fast-growing tropical species. Raw veneer is cut from a log, and dyed if necessary. Once dyed, the sheets are laminated together to form a block. The block is then sliced so that the edges of the laminated .
Reconstructed veneers are manufactured from readily available timbers such as Poplar, Obeche or Bamboo, normally plantation grown.
- The logs are rotary peeled into veneers, which are then dyed all the way through, and dried.
- Layers of variously coloured veneers are then laminated together in moulds in a controlled pattern to form ‘grain’ patterns which are then re-sliced into veneers.
- The way the layers of the veneers are arranged and then are sliced depend on the desired pattern – the process is fully automated and often involves the use of computer software to produce different veneer figures and pattern.
The advantages of reconstructed veneer are:
- The veneers have excellent consistency in colour and repeated grain pattern.
- The result is a wide range of colours and patterns.
- Can be easier to match or replace the same patterns.
Reconstructed Natural Veneers
Reconstructed natural veneers are made of undyed and sustainable natural veneers from a range of species. This method of production produces premium veneers from low grade and waste raw material.
Reconstructed natural veneers are made by laminating the component raw veneers together into a block, then slicing this block across its laminated face to produce decorative grade veneers. Careful mixing of these component veneers during the laminating process ensures that the reconstructed natural veneer is usually consistent in grain and colour for hundreds of sheets. However, there will be some colour and grain variation between blocks, but less than the variations in natural veneers.
Engineered Veneer (EV) Manufacturing Process
Engineered Veneer (EV) combines non-tropical raw materials with state of the art manufacturing
technologies, to produce high quality veneers for the surfaces of hardwood plywood products, which would
previously have used potentially higher risk (in relation to EUTR) tropical veneers. EV was initially developed
for the decorative veneered plywood market, but the technology has now been successfully applied to the
production of commercial veneers for the high volume plywood market. The result is an environmentally
friendly product, sourced from close to the production mills, rather than from overseas suppliers to the
Chinese market such as Malaysia, Solomon Islands or Papua New Guinea.
EV is generally produced from Chinese Poplar logs, grown locally either by local co-operatives,
or in registered plantation areas. The light natural colour and soft grain definition of Poplar makes it well
suited to the production of EV. The process of converting timber into EV starts with the selection of logs, following which they are bought to the mill for processing. The timber is trimmed, sawn to length and debarked. The logs are now ready to be peeled.
Peeling of the Logs
The logs are mounted onto a giant lathe. Within minutes the logs are peeled into rotary veneers. This is achieved by pressing a rotating log towards a large blade, thinly peeling a continuous sheet of veneer off the log. The veneer is dried, stacked and then graded. It is now ready to be dyed.
EV veneers can be dyed to a consistent colour to suit the market requirement. The raw veneer leaves are stacked into a stainless steel cage. Once completely loaded, the stainless steel cage is immersed into a pressurized, heated vat that is filled with water soluble dye. This system ensures that each leaf is given the correct amount of time to allow the dye to completely penetrate each individual leaf of veneer. Once the desired colour has been achieved, the leaves are unloaded from the vat, dried and given a final inspection before going to the gluing stage.
The gluing process is critical for the performance of the finished product. A layer of glue goes between each leaf of veneer, to bond the leave of veneer together. Once the stack has been laid up it is then put into a high pressure press to bond the leaves together, creating a large rectangular block.
Slicing of the Block
The block in now ready to be sliced into veneer leaves. Once the block has been produced, it is turned through 90 degrees, to present the end grain, then mounted to the slicing unit. The blade now runs across the end grain of the block, slicing thickness controlled leaves of veneer. The veneer leaves that are produced are approximately 0.4mm thick, and in 2440 x 1220 format. The veneer is now ready to be used as face veneer for Eucalyptus and Poplar core plywood products.
For veneer of natural strains (organic veneer OV) only the best wood stems are used. During the production process the wood is steamed which gives the veneer a specific colour. After cutting the wood is dried and bundled in veneer-books of 24 or 32 sheets. The veneer books are in shape of a stem again. Wood is a unique living material. Growth characteristics such as knots, brushes, mirror, moiré and also colour and structural differences accentuate the natural product. Veneer is also made from rotary cut veneer in which the sheets are made gluing them together and then cut again. This reconstructed veneer, also called engineered veneer (EV) is available as an imitation of natural OV veneer and in fantasy decors. At EV veneer the growth characteristics are hardly present.
Veneer quality – choice depending on application
There is no standard quality for veneer. Veneer should technically okay. Taste, however, remains a personal experience. Lambri uses clear definitions relating to the quality of OV veneer:
- A + quality stands for the best part of the stem, uniform in colour and uniform in wood structure. Growth characteristics barely visible. Application: custom panels for walls.
- A quality means great attention to colour and structure. Growth characteristics partially visible. Application: Custom Panel ceilings/furniture and plates for wall panelling.
- AB quality is the economic application where differences in colour and structure are visible on the plate. Growth characteristics are visible. Application: sawing panels and smaller furniture parts.