Plywood & LVL Physical And Mechanical Properties

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.

4.2 Cross-Lamination

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

bracing material.

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