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What is Marine Plywood?

This post is part of Plyco’s Guide to Marine Plywood.

When you hear the word “marine” what do you think? Maybe your mind drifts straight to the ocean, or perhaps you start thinking of coral reefs and aquatic animals. What about when you hear the term “Marine Plywood”? A lot of people might not fully understand what Marine Plywood is at first, but you can probably gather that it has something to do with water. Knowing this means you’ve taken your very first steps into understanding what exactly a Marine Plywood sheet is.

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 marine grade. Firstly, the glue used in 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 plywood is going to be classified as 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


Plyco's Gaboon Marine Plywood

Plyco's Gaboon Marine Plywood

You’ll also find that there are two different classifications of Marine Plywood available; British Standard and Australian Standard. Navigating between these standards can be tricky, so we’ve put together a guide to each of them so you can accurately decide once it comes time to buy.

To learn more about these properties see our Top Marine Plywood Properties blog post.

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 quality, the inside grade can be anything, resulting in various structural qualities. This results in British Standard Marine Grade Plywood being cheaper but not always as high of 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. Examples of British Standard Marine Plywood that is stocked at Plyco include our Eucalyptus Marine Plywood and our Pacific Maple Marine Plywood.

Plyco's Pacific Maple 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 AA Marine Plywood is an example of Marine Plywood manufactured to Australian Standard.

Marine Plywood Boat

Hopefully, now that you know these crucial distinctions between British and Australian standard and have a thorough understanding of what Marine Plywood is you’re feeling like a bit of an expert. If you want to continue learning head on over to our blog post about the key differences between marine plywood and exterior plywood.

If you’re feeling confident why not jump over to our online store and browse our entire 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.

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