Structural Plywood Dimensional Stability under Changes in Moisture Content

Plywood’s cross-laminated construction improves its dimensional stability in the plane of the panel in

comparison to solid wood. Solid wood undergoes little expansion or contraction along the wood grain

under moisture content changes, however, across the grain, it may undergo considerable movement

due to changes in moisture content. In plywood, the veneer movement due to moisture changes is

restricted across the grain relative to that along the grain due to the cross-laminations. As a result,

structural plywood has superior dimensional stability to other timber and wood based panels. TABLE 4.1 details


the hygroscopic movement of structural plywood along and across the grain. The dimensional stability of

plywood is beneficial in many structural applications and is particularly important in concrete formply

applications where large areas of structural plywood formply are subjected to high temperatures and moisture

contents at the time of the concrete pour.

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