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Flexible Plywood

Flexible Plywood: 'Bendy Plywood' or 'Flexiply'
  • Minimum goods order = £250 + VAT
  • Available 3mm-16mm thick
  • Prompt delivery: 2440/2500x1220mm / 1220x2440/2500mm
  • Light in weight
  • Stock thickness: 3mm-16mm (CARB ULEF Class 2 bond @ 5mm & 7mm)
  • Forward order in minimum pallet per item: 2500x1840mm, 3050x1220mm, 3120x1850mmm, 1220x3050mm, 1840x2500mm, 1850x3120mm

Overview

Often called 'bendy plywood' or 'flexiply', flexible plywood is used extensively in furniture and shopfitting, etc. wherever curved surfaces are desirable, thus demanding a panel that is extremely flexible.

Plywood such as this is available in two main types; a plywood whose manufacturing process allows it to bend more than would be expected for a given thickness, i.e. a true flexible plywood, or a plywood that will bend because it is a high quality, very thin plywood such as thin birch plywood, thin okoume plywood or composite decorative flexible veneered plywood.

True flexible plywood is most often seen as a 3-ply construction with a thin central layer overlaid with thicker face veneers that have been tenderised to make them flexible. As the panel bends, the convex face expands and the concave face contracts to allow the panel to bend. Bonding two or more panels together will result in a free-standing construction, as will bonding veneers or laminates to one or both sides.

Available in both long grain ('column wrap') and cross grain ('barrel wrap') orientation, a wide range of finished thicknesses can be created by bonding more than one sheet of bendy plywood together.

Because it does not require any special equipment or prior experience, the use of flexible plywood in any curved project helps reduces the cost in labour and material to a minimum. Fixing to a suitably-spaced support frame allows complicated curved shapes to be constructed with ease.

In detail

Winwood Products is a flexible plywood supplier offering the following configurations/options:

Flexible Plywood - 'Bendy Plywood' or 'Flexiply'

Flexible plywood is manufactured from specially treated veneers, usually with a thinner central core veneer and two thicker 'tenderized' outer veneers. The special construction of particular species of veneers gives an unusually large degree of flexibility and offers a most cost-effective way of producing rounded columns and other curved structures of very small radius in rounded or S-shaped structures without water or the need for heat-forming.

Bendy plywood is more convenient and much lower in cost than premade wooden forms, as this flexible plywood will hold its shape once it is glued, laminated or veneered. This ability offers significant time savings, as curves & circular designs can be produced using flexible plywood without the need for a structural skeleton or special support.

Information

Technical details:

  • Thickness (3-ply):
    • 3mm (3-ply)
    • 5mm (3-ply) also CARB ULEF EN 314-2 Class 2
    • 7mm (3-ply) CARB ULEF EN 314-2 Class 2 only
    • 8mm (3-ply)
    • 9mm (3-ply) CARB ULEF EN 314-2 Class 2 only
    • 12mm (5-ply) - special order in full pallets
    • 16mm (5-ply)
    • Other thickness by agreement
  • Standard sizes:
    • 2440x1220mm / 1220x2440mm
    • 2500x1220mm / 1220x2500mm
    • 2500x1840mm / 1840x2500mm
    • 3050x1220mm / 1220x3050mm
    • 3120x1850mm / 1850x3120mm
    • Other sizes by agreement
  • Face grades:
    • II/II, II/III
  • Specification:
    • EN 636-1 - Interior/moisture resistant usage
    • EN 636-2 - Covered exterior usage
  • Bond quality:
    • EN 314-2 Class 1 - Interior & low moisture conditions
    • EN 314-2 Class 2 - Humid conditions

Bending radius & approx. weight

EN 636-2 (suitable for covered exteriors):

Improved bending results than declared can be obtained with the following panels by lightly wetting the faces of the panel beforehand. Once the panel has dried it will tend to mould itself to the form onto which it was set.

Recommended bending radius:

  • 5mm =100mm
  • 7mm =150mm
  • 9mm =200mm

Approximate weight:

  • 5mm =2.2 kg/m2
  • 7mm =3.1 kg/m2
  • 9mm =4.1 kg/m2

NB: The final breaking point of the panels is typically approximately 1/3 the recommended radius declared above

EN 636-1 (interior applications):

NB: The following panels are designed for internal use only. They must not be exposed to any form of moisture.

Typical minimum bending radius:

  • 3mm =30mm
  • 5mm =50mm
  • 8mm =80mm
  • 12mm =150mm
  • 16mm =200mm

Approximate weight:

  • 3mm =1.1 kg/m2
  • 5mm =1.9 kg/m2
  • 8mm =3.0 kg/m2
  • 12mm =4.5 kg/m2
  • 16mm =6.1 kg/m2

General installation advice

It is vital that the panel is bent to its final shape in a continual process to minimize the risk of the surface and/or core failing, which can happen if the panel is bent too quickly

Fixings must be closely spaced in all areas, not only along the direction of the bend but also along the straight edges. Actual spacing can be determined by testing

Multiple panels can be installed on top of each other to achieve a thicker finished thickness, while bonding multiple panels together can also enables a self-supporting structure to be created