Structural plywood and structural LVL are composed of individual timber veneers which can be selected,
positioned and orientated to optimise the finished product properties for the intended end application.
Structural LVL is typically manufactured with all veneer grain directions parallel with the member length.
This maximises strength and stiffness in the spanned direction.
Structural plywood, being a panel product, is manufactured with veneer grain orientation alternating in the
panel length and width directions to give engineered strength and stiffness properties in both panel
directions. Veneers can be selected and orientated to either maximize strength and stiffness in one panel
direction or alternatively provide more equal properties in both directions.
The alternating change in grain direction of the
veneers in plywood is referred to as cross
lamination, and in addition to enhanced strength
and stiffness properties, a number of other useful
characteristics are imparted, as discussed below.
Where required, these characteristics can also be
incorporated into LVL, by the inclusion of cross
laminated veneers in the LVL member.
Resistance to Splitting
Cross-lamination of the veneers means there is no
natural cleavage plane and therefore plywood will
not readily split either lengthwise or crosswise.
This allows plywood to be nailed at closer
spacings and with reduced distances to the panel
edges, than could be achieved with sawn timber
and some other engineered wood based panel Cross-lamination in plywood as a result of alternating the
veneer grain direction of adjacent veneers
Impact Resistance and Resistance to Puncture
Plywood performs well under heavy concentrated loads and impact loads as the cross-laminations in
plywood distribute the stresses over a wide area of the panel. This can be important in many structural
applications including structural flooring in commercial or industrial situations, wall claddings, materials
handling applications and barriers against airborne missiles in cyclones.
Panel Shear Strength
The cross-lamination of veneers in plywood results in high shear strength within the plane of the panel.
This is one of the characteristics that results in plywoods superior performance in a number of critical
structural applications including plywood webs in beams, plywood gussets in portal frames and as a
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