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British Marine and Australian Marine Standard Plywood: What's The Difference?

So, you need a type of plywood that can withstand the elements and being around damp and wet areas and have decided that a Marine Plywood is the perfect option for you. However, it comes time to make your purchase and you’re presented with two options and not much of an idea which is right for you. Having both the British Marine Standard Plywood and Australian Marine Standard Plywood sheets available can be a little confusing. That’s why today we’ve decided to have a look at what makes each standard unique, so you can make a more informed decision!

Marine Plywood Brochure Download

The Marine Plywood rule of three

The first thing you need to know is that there is a set of three criteria that plywood has to meet before it can be classified as a marine grade. Firstly, the glue used in a marine plywood MUST be waterproof. This seems like an obvious one, but it’s vital that the proper glue is used, otherwise, the product will be close to useless. The glue used must pass a stringent test that shows it won’t de-laminate.

Secondly, core gaps in the ply must be avoided as much as possible. Gaps weaken the plywood significantly, and more alarmingly, will create an express path for water to sneak inside and ruin your product. Obviously, this is not ideal, so voids must be absent if a plywood is going to be classified as a marine grade.

Lastly, the face and veneers must be of high quality too. This helps keep the product looking great and performing well while being exposed to harsh elements.

Gaboon Marine Plywood, not to be confused with the United States Marine Corps

That takes care of what is required to be a marine grade plywood in general, but what differs between the British and Australian classifications. Let’s take a look at the British Standard of Marine Ply first.

God save the Marine

British Standard is often referred to as “BS 1088” and is a marine plywood specification that applies to plywood made from untreated tropical hardwood veneers that have a stated level of resistance to fungus growth. Overall, British Standard has lower requirements than the Australian Standard. While the face is required to be of a relatively high standard, the inside grade can be anything resulting in various structural qualities. This result is British Standard Marine Grade Plywood is cheaper but may not always be of as good a quality. There are also stringent measurement requirements when it comes to length, width, squareness, thickness tolerances and face veneer thickness. These same requirements are not present when it comes to Australian Marine Standard Plywood.

Marine Plywood that is manufactured to the British Standard and imported into Australia does not have a predictable structural performance and cannot be substituted for Australian Standard when a project requires a structural rating.

Our Pacific Maple Marine Plywood is an example of British Standard Marine Plywood

Australian made Marine Plywood

When it comes to the Australian Standard (AS/NZS 2272) the most important aspect of getting a certification is having a Type A phenolic bond. Species of marine grade ply are also selected based on density, bending strength, impact resistance and surface finishing characteristics. Australian Standard also has an A grade face on BOTH sides of the product, which gives it a better aesthetic and is the perfect option for a project that needs to look pretty. Plyco's Hoop Pine Marine is an example of a marine plywood manufactured to Australian Standard.

Row, row, row your boat

When it comes to Marine Plywood there are actually a lot more differences between British and Australian Standard than you first realise! Now that you know these crucial distinctions, why not jump over to our online store and browse our range of Marine Ply? It's the best place to buy Marine Plywood! Whether it’s boat building or any construction job that needs to withstand a high-moisture environment, Plyco has got you covered.

Brandon Marlow
Brandon Marlow
Brandon is the Woodworking Wordsmith and Social Media Sage at Plyco HQ. Crafting copy for customer tutorials, inspiration and advice, Brandon builds and maintains Plyco's plywood knowledge base.

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