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Architects,
Designers & Specifiers

Hanson Plywood offer a full and comprehensive guidance service to ensure that correct products are used for all applications. The information on panel products can be quite limited in many educational courses relating to architecture and design. This is why we are happy to provide assistance with specification for any end use.

All of our sales staff specialise in wood based panel products and are Technicians in Wood Science as recognised by the Institute of  Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3). In addition to this, the company is a member of TRADA and keeps abreast of all changes to standards and regulations that affect the specification of wood based panel products in structural design. You can find further information on product standards on our Knowledge Base page.

We have launched a comprehensive advisory service website for architects, designers and specifiers in the specification and uses of plywood products in construction applications. Please click on the below link to view our Plywood Specifiers guide.

 

The Plywood Specifiers Guide

Quick Reference Guide - OSB
Type
Application & Climatic Conditions
Use Class (EN 335)
OSB/1
Non-Structural, interior fitments including furniture
Use Class 1
OSB/2
Internal, structural applications
Use Class 1
OSB/3
Structural applications similar to those listed above, however OSB/3 is is suitable for use in humid conditions
Use Class 1 & 2
OSB/4
Heavy-duty structural applications in humid conditions
Use Class 1 & 2
Quick Reference Guide - MDF

Please note: Under EN 622-5, ‘General Purpose’ refers to products suitable for ‘use in non load-bearing applications’.

Trade Term
Class
Typical Average Density
Application & Climatic Condition
Use Class (EN 335)
General purpose joinery
Simple designs with minimal profile
Humid Conditions
Architectural mouldings - skirting architraves
Deep routed profiles (e.g. membrane pressed PVC doors)
Designs with advanced deep routed profiles and painted finishes
Standard
MDF
700 Kg/m3
General purpose boards for dry conditions
Use Class 1
Yes
Yes
Yes
Trade
L.MDF
625 Kg/m3
Light MDF boards for dry conditions
Use Class 1
Yes
Yes
Ultralight
UL2.MDF
520 Kg/m3
Ultra-light MDF boards for dry conditions
Use Class 1
Yes
Yes
Moisture Resistant
MDF.H
720 Kg/m3
General purpose boards for humid conditions
Use Classes 1 & 2
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Exterior
MDF.H-2
770 Kg/m3
General purpose boards for exterior conditions
Use Classes 1,2 & 3
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Quick Reference Guide - Chipboard (Particleboard)
Type
Application & Climatic Conditions
Use Classes (EN 335)
P1
Internal, non-structural applications
Use Class 1
P2
Internal, non-structural furniture items
Use Class 1
P3
Non-structural applications similar to those listed under P2 above. However, P3 is suitable for use in humid conditions
Use Classes 1 & 2
P4
Internal, structural applications
Use Class 1
P5
Structural applications similar to those listed under P4 above, however P5 is suitable for humid conditions
Use Classes 1 & 2
P6
Heavy-duty internal structural applications
Use Class 1
P7
Heavy-duty structural applications in humid conditions
Use Classes 1 & 2
Quick Reference Guide - Plywood
Applicable Products
Typical Applications
Use Class
Applicable Standards
Minimum Requirements
Performance Plywood
Birch Plywood
SP101 Plywood
Lightweight Plywood
Far Eastern Type Plywood
(Malaysian/Indonesian/
Chinese)
Performance Plywood
Birch Plywood
SP101 Plywood
Far Eastern Type Plywood
(Malaysian/Indonesian/Chinese)
Softwood Constructional Plywood (Finnish, Spruce, Elliottis Pine, etc)
Performance Plywood
Marine Plywood BS1088
(Independently Verified)
Internal applications with minimal exposure to moisture.
All internal joinery, flooring, underlay, pipe boxing, doors, hatches, weight saving applications etc
Internal applications with temporary exposure during construction.
Floors, flooring underlay, walls, roof decking, linings, hoardings, protection etc
All internal and external joinery which may be submitted to long term exposure to wetting/weather.
Construction - floors, walls, roof decking, soffits, linings, signs, etc
1 - Dry
2 - Humid
3 - Exterior
EN13986 - Wood based panels for construction
EN636:2012 + A1:2015
Plywood-Specifications
EN314-2 Plywood bond quality
EN310 - Bending test
EN13986 - Wood based panels for use in construction
EN636:2012 + A1:2015
Plywood-Specifications
EN314-2 Plywood bond quality
EN335 - Durability of wood and wood-based panel products
EN310 - Bending Test
EN13986 - Wood based panels for use in construction
EN636:2012 + A1:2015
Plywood-Specifications
EN314-2 Plywood bond quality
EN335 - Durability of wood and wood-based panel products
EN310 - Bending Test
CE Marked
Class 1
Class 1
Refer to test data
CE Marked
Class 2
Class 2
Class 2**
Refer to test data
CE Marked
Class 3
Class 3
Class 3**
Refer to test data
Advice on Specification and Treatment of Exterior Plywood

Exterior in service, in building terms, covers a wide range of situations from full and severe exposure (sign boards, sea font fascias) to sheltered and protected (soffits under porches and balconies). There are also applications other than in buildings that impose similar stresses on plywood in service.

Two different exterior situations where plywood has a long history of sucessful use can be recognised.

  • Exterior but not protected- where direct wetting of surfaces and edges is unlikely once construction is completed. Applications such as this (sheathing, soffits, roof decking, etc.) are designated as ‘Use Class 2’ according to BS EN 335:2013 (‘Durability of wood and wood-based products- Use Classes: definitions, application to solid wood and wood-based products’). In Eurocode 5 (EN 1995-1-1) and structural design terminology, these applications would be more closely aligned to the in-service, environmental conditions expected of Service Class 2. Applications  such as these would require plywood that is suitable for Humid Conditions that meets EN 636-2.
  • Full exposure to weather (charcterised by the possibility of high moisture content in service, driving rain and full exposure to sunlight). Examples include cladding, fascias, exterior doors and more. These situations fall under Use Class 3 under BS EN 335:2013, and in most cases would meet the environmental conditions of Service Class 3 under Eurocode 5. Plywood that meets the requirements of EN 636-3 for use in Exterior Conditions is appropriate for these uses.

The factors of exterior exposure that can be significant to the performance of plywood are:

  • Rain (particularly wind-driven) and where drying-out is slow.
  • Fluctuations in relative humidity.
  • Sunlight, particularly on south-facing aspects and dark coloured surfaces.
  • Fungal organisms.
  • Frost, insect attack and sever chemical pollution may sometimes also have an adverse effect on the service life of plywood.

Rain, either wind-driven or running down the facade of a building, can be rapidly absorbed by unprotected end grain of timber.

Plywood contains much end grain around the edges which must be protected if satisfactory performance is to be achieved. If the edges are not protected, water can enter and give rise to stresses which can eventually cause splitting of the wood and separation of the veneers around the edges even of ‘exterior’ bonded panels. In the shorter term, it often gives rise to unsightly staining behind a finish and can lead to mould growth, blistering of paint and ultimately decay.

it is, therefore, imperative that the edges of all panels are protected if satisfactory performance can be achieved.

Water usually penetrates much more rapidly than is lost. This is particularly the case if its entry is localised, such as through an area of improperly applied edge sealant. Under these conditions, water can be trapped for long periods behind fairly impermeable finishes, putting considerable demands on the durability or preservation treatment at the plywood and the adhesion of the finish.

 

EN 636 : 2012 + A1 : 2015 Plywood-Specifications

Plywood manufactured for construction purposes is specified in accordance with EN 636. Products claiming compliance with this standard must also carry the specified markings, which includes a reference to EN 636. This standard was originally in three parts, but was reissued in a single part as follows:

The most recent edition of EN 636 retains the designations -1, -2 and -3 from the previous three part standard to represent dry, humid or exterior conditions of use.

These conditions are defined according to the parameters laid down for Use Classes in BS EN 335 durability of wood and wood-based products. Use classes: definitions applicable to solid wood and wood-based products.

Dry conditions: For interior applications with no risk of wetting, defined in Use Class 1, with a moisture content corresponding to environmental conditions of 20°C and 65% relative humidity.

Humid Conditions: For use in protected exterior applications as defined in Use Class 2, with a moisture content corresponding to environmental conditions of 20°C and 85% relative humidity.

Exterior Conditions: For use in external applications, as defined in Use Class 3, where the moisture content will frequently be above 20%

 

EN 636 also introduces bending strength and modulus classes based on bending tests to EN 310. These give a designated strength (F) and modulus (E) parallel and perpendicular to the face grain. An example designation would therefore be F10/20. E30/40.

EN 636 gives minimum values for each of the classes and EN 12369-2 gives corresponding characteristic values for use with each of these classes.

Plywood for use in construction must demonstrate compliance with the Construction Products Regulation (CPR). The most straightforward route to achieving this is by demonstrating compliance with EN 13986, and therefore must carry a CE mark.

The properties required of panels in EN 636 are shown in the clickable PDF link below:

Properties of panels in EN 636

 

Glue bond: Classification

Plywoods are produced with glue bonds which range from those suitable for interior uses only, to those which will withstand full exposure for long periods.

BS EN 314-2 Plywood bonding quality. Requirements define three classes on the basis of test requirements that the plywood must meet:

Class 1: Dry conditions (interior, dry uses).

Class 2: Humid conditions (protected external service, ‘damp’ internal uses and limited exposure during construction).

Class 3: Exterior conditions (exposure to weather over substantial periods or continuous exposure to relative high humidity).

Full Exterior Bonding 

Class 3 bonds are a requirement for plywood to comply with BS EN 636-3. The bonds are largely comparable with what were known as WBP- weather and boil-proof bonds (to BS 6566 Part 8, now withdrawn), expect that the requirement that effectively they be made with phenolic-type glues has now been dropped. To qualify, the bond must now meet the stipulated test requirements.

Our product sustainability & legality short story
Timber Durability Chart

Please click on the image to view the chart.

The Plywood Specifiers Guide

In order to assist Architects and specifiers we have developed our h collection of panels which have very specific manufacturing and performance criteria. All these products carry the appropriate certification for industry, and can be confidently specified  for a vast range of applications.

The h collection is listed as below;

 



Marine Plywood has traditionally been specified for construction applications in the belief that it is simply a high quality and high performance product. Hanson Plywood Ltd firmly consider this practice to be outdated and advise that all specifications should be satisfied with products that are fit for purpose taking into account, the application and the particular performance criteria required.

h Performance Plywood® is manufactured to EN 636-3 making it suitable for use as structural components in exterior conditions.

Performance Indonesian Plywood®EN636-3 • EN314-2 Class 3 Glue Bond • ULEF Emissions • CE Marked • FSC® Certified

The logical and reliable alternative to general commercial Marine Plywood offering full classification and performance in all conditions.

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A superior high quality, high performance overlay grade plywood panel with very accurate dimensional tolerances. This product offers the ultimate dependability for exacting manufacturing processes.

hSP101 Indonesian Plywood® is manufactured to meet EN 636-2 and is suitable for structural components in humid conditions (depending on thickness).
It also meets the requirements for Annex A in BS 8203:2017- code of practice for resilient floor coverings. This standard gives flooring manufacturers and installers a clear reference of plywood that should be used for a successful and reliable flooring installation.

SP101® Hanson Indonesian Special OverlayEN636-2 • EN314-2 Class 3 Glue Bond • E1 Emissions • CE Marked • FLEGT Licensed

Superior medium to lightweight plywood specifically manufactured with accurate dimensional tolerances and high surface quality in mind

www.sp101.co.uk

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Exterior Glued Birch Plywood

Multi-ply, cross banded plywood made entirely from Birch veneer. Our collection of exterior glued Birch panels come in a wide variety of thickness, grades, sheet sizes and veneer grain directions. The collection is comprised of FSC® or PEFC™ Certified material and CARB Phase II compliant products are available on request.

The product meets the requirements of EN 636-2 and has a glue bond that meets EN 314-2 Class 1.

Exterior Glued Birch Throughout PlywoodEN 636-2 • EN 314-2 Class 3 Glue Bond • E1 Emissions • CE Marked • FSC® Certified.

Exterior Glued panels suitable for a wide variety of applications.

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Interior Glued Birch Plywood

An interior glue bond means that h Interior Glued Birch Plywood is bonded with a colourless, urea-formaldehyde glue which allows clean, burn-free cutting when using a laser. This colourless resin means that the end grain is clear so it can be more easily utilised in decorative situations (exterior glue bonds are often darker in colour).

h Interior Glued Birch Plywood is suitable for interior applications and meets the requirements of EN 636-1.

Interior Glued Birch Throughout PlywoodEN 636-1 • EN314-2 Class 1 Glue Bond • E1 Emissions • CE Marked

Birch throughout Plywood suitable for interior applications and ideal for machining, routing and further processing.

 

 

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Exterior Glued Thin Birch Plywood

Decorative, flexible and versatile thin birch throughout panels constructed using an exterior glue bond.

hThin Birch Plywood is meticulously manufactured using state-of-the art machinery and specialised peeling techniques. Veneers are peeled from the log at as thin as 0.13mm on the thinner panels and cross-banded to make a malleable plywood sheet.
The product’s flexibility allows it to be bent and moulded to fit those applications where curvature is required but a reasonable degree of strength must be maintained. 0.4mm and 0.8mm panels have a darker hue due to the exterior bond telegraphing through the face veneers.

Thin Birch Plywood – Exterior GlueEN 314-2 Class 3 Glue Bond • E1 Emissions • CE Marked • PEFC™ Certified.

Decorative, flexible and versatile thin birch throughout panels constructed using an exterior glue bond.

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Interior Glued Thin Birch Plywood

Decorative, flexible and versatile thin birch throughout panels constructed using an interior glue bond.

hThin Birch Plywood is meticulously manufactured using state-of-the art machinery and specialised peeling techniques. Veneers are peeled from the log at as thin as 0.13mm on the thinner panels and cross-banded to make a malleable plywood sheet.

The product’s flexibility allows it to be bent and moulded to fit those applications where curvature is required but a reasonable degree of strength must be maintained.

Thin Birch Plywood – Interior GlueEN 636-1 • EN314-2 Class 1 Glue Bond • E1 Emissions • CE Marked

Decorative, flexible and versatile thin birch throughout panels constructed using an interior glue bond.

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This is a collection of products that are light in weight, stable and easy to cut and machine. Available as a Poplar throughout panel (light in colour with a barely perceptible grain) or Ilomba faced (pink in hue with a poplar core). We also offer a Pure Glue alternative in both products which uses a NAF (No Added Formaldehyde) resin, offering impressive environmental credentials.

h Panguaneta Lightweight Plywood meets EN 636-1 and is suitable for interior applications.

Panguaneta Poplar Plywood

PEFC™ and FSC® Certified. Combines significant weight saving with high quality faces. Extremely accurate thickness and dimensional tolerances.

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h Elliottis Pine Plywood

Elliottis Pine Plywood offers a practical solution to specifications that prioritise structural capabilities over aesthetic values. Following intensive research and several mill visits, Hanson Plywood representatives have been able to select Brazilian manufacturers who produce the most consistent and extensively tested panels in Brazil.

h Elliottis Pine Plywood meets the requirements of EN 636-2 and is also available with BBA accreditation. Testing has been conducted in line with EN 12871 for suitability in walls, floors and roofs.

Elliottis Pine PlywoodEN 636-2 • EN 314-2 Class 3 Glue Bond • E1 Emissions • CE Marked

Practical and affordable Elliottis Pine Plywood sourced from specialist mills

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Hanson Plywood Ltd again supported Timber Expo at the national exhibition centre in Birmingham on the 10th-12th of October this year. Timber Expo is a long running exhibition event which is dedicated to the timber trade, allowing companies inside and…

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