Choosing between structural plywood and non-structural plywood

Whenever you go out in the market, you often hear about the two most common terms: structural plywood and non-structural plywood. If you are new to these terms, then we will explain the details about these in the blog. For now, you must know that plywoods are wood veneers which are laid in a layer of sheets. It comes in different variants, size, and thickness. Based on your requirement, you can choose the one which best matches your requirement.

Moving on, structural plywood and non-structural plywoods have a major difference between the two. It is the glue which is used in the two types makes them differ from each other. There are two kinds of adhesives:

  • Interior- it is not waterproof
  • Exterior– It is waterproof

 (These lines are vague)

The glue is the only differentiating factor between the structural plywood and the non-structural. The A-bond glue is affected faster with environmental conditions like temperature but it is still more eloquent than the B bond glue and hence it is used in structural plywood. When we talk about the non-structural plywood, then they have bond C and D glue. It means that these plywoods don’t have high strength so that it can bear tough and extreme conditions.

Applications of Structural plywood-

Now let’s move to the next differentiator between the structural and non-structal plywood as per the place of application.

It is used for construction purposes like beams and owing to its higher strength, these are applied in in boxes, crates, bins, and outdoor furniture. These types are also useful for roof bracing and walls. However, if you are using these plywoods for this purpose, make sure that you choose A-bond plywood. However, if you are looking for using the plywood in places which are damp, then marine structural sheets would be a good choice. These offer resistance to water and thus making it stand strong against the dampness and moisture effect.

Application of non-structural plywood

Non-structural plywood is also known as interior plywood and used to add aesthetic appeal to the structure on which it is mounted. They fall under the C and D bond type category. If you are going for the C bond type is a good choice if you want it to be painted. This type finds usage in wall linings, furniture, decorative purpose, cleaning. They have a higher tolerance to humidity and offer better resistance than D-bond.

D-bond plywoods have marks and blemishes and hence are not so popular. They are comparatively cheaper.

If it comes to choosing the one which matches your need, then you must go for structural sheets. Make sure that you do thorough research, although structural sheets may add beautification when it comes to using them for the external usage; then structural sheets is the best choice. It offers a multitude of features like strength and durability, which makes it excellent for outdoor usage.

However, if you are looking for plywood for interior usage, then you must choose the non-structural plywood. They come in different designs and patterns, which makes it a popular choice. So if it comes to choosing one of the types, then you must first understand your needs and then go ahead for buying them.

non structual plywoood
non structual plywoood

Tabular Representation of the difference between the structural and non-structural plywood-

Structural Plywood

Non-Structural Plywood

A and B type of Bond

C and D type of Bond

Usually used for exterior purpose, roof, walls and decks

Used for interiors like furniture and cabinets

More durable

More emphasis on aesthetic appeal

 Now that you know the difference between the structural plywood and non-structural plywood, choosing the one that matches your requirement will become easier.

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