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Lightweight Poplar Plywood

Lightweight Plywood: Grade I (AB) poplar veneer
  • Around 40% lighter than birch plywood
  • Immediate delivery: 3mm-30mm 2500x1220mm, plus some 3050x1220mm & 3050x1525mm
  • Special order: 3mm-60mm up to maximum 4100x2100mm/2100x4100mm  (typically minimum 2 pallets per item)
  • Standard glueline suitable for laser cutting
  • CARB2/NAUF (no added urea-formaldehyde) from stock in some thicknesses
  • Various face veneers & surface finish options


A lightweight plywood manufactured from black poplar (populus nigra) that is often grown in rotation with arable crops, offering a panel that is stable and very strong, but with the added benefit of being extremely lightweight.

Plywoods of this type are used by manufacturers of motorhomes, campers, caravans, RVs and other vehicles, doors, toys, boats & yachts, decorative panels, furniture & joinery, and packaging, shopfitters & exhibition/display companies, where its light weight and/or light-coloured, clean faces are a benefit.

Because lightweight poplar plywood is approximately 40-45% lower in density than the more commonly-known utility plywoods such as birch plywood, it is used wherever a lightweight panel solution is desirable at a competitive cost.

Panel types

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

Lightweight poplar throughout plywood

Lightweight Plywood: Poplar Plywood
  • Immediate delivery: 3mm-30mm 2500x1220mm, plus some 3050x1220mm & 3050x1525mm
  • Special order: 3mm-6mm up to maximum 2520x1850mm, 8-60mm up to maximum 2100x4100mm (typically 2 pallets per item)
  • Standard glueline suitable for laser cutting
  • CARB2/NAUF (no added urea-formaldehyde) from stock in some thicknesses

The use of poplar veneer throughout the construction of this plywood results in a stable & strong panel that is extremely light in weight with a clean, creamy-white face and core. Poplar plywood is regularly used where a clean-faced, consistent, lightweight panel is required. It is also available in large size & thickness.

Lightweight poplar plywood is used in the manufacture of decorative panel products, for instance laminated & veneered plywoods. It is the perfect material for such applications as it offers a strong & stable panel with a uniform, reliable surface that is highly suitable for overlaying.

Lightweight poplar core plywood

Lightweight Plywood: Ceiba Faced Poplar Plywood
  • Immediate delivery with birch or ilomba faces: 4mm-18mm, 2440/2500x1220mm
  • Standard glueline suitable for laser cutting
  • Special order: 4mm-60mm up to maximum 4100x2100mm/2100x4100mm (typically 2 pallets per item)
  • CARB2/NAF (no added urea-formaldehyde) glues available to special order
  • Various face veneers & surface finish options
  • Can be supplied raw or precoated with lacquer, oil or special finishes

While the low density of lightweight poplar plywood is often viewed as an advantage on its own, other face options can be supplied to offer improved performance for specific end-uses. Poplar plywood faced with exotic veneers, MDF and chipboard are examples of this type of composite product.

Exotic veneers & MDF are often used for overlaying with very thin decorative coverings - avoiding the risk of any grain telegraphing through them - and to achieve a superior painted finish, while MDF & chipboard faced poplar plywoods are used when overlaying thin surface coverings such as melamine papers.

Unidirectional poplar drawerside plywood

  • Special order item
  • 12mm-60mm thick
  • Standard panel sizes: 1830x1830mm, 2500x1220mm
  • Standard production has glueline suitable for laser cutting
  • CARB/NAF (no added urea-formaldehyde) available to special order
  • Can be supplied raw or precoated with lacquer, oil or special finishes

Poplar plywood can be supplied with all the veneers making up the core laid with their grain in the same general direction. This construction can be engineered to allow easier bending across the grain, or to give a more uniform colour & pattern to the edge - avoiding end-grain showing along the edge of the panel. This construction is often called 'poplar drawerside plywood'. Typically the layer directly below the face veneer is crossbanded at 90 degrees to minimise the risk of small splits & cracks appearing on the face due to movements caused by varying moisture conditions.

Standard face options

  • Poplar veneer - B (EN 635-2 Class II)

    Lightweight Plywood: Grade II (B) poplar veneer

    Typically supplied as B/BB (Class II/III) poplar plywood, this quality is a natural face with colour variations and healthy knots, suitable for coating with laminates, paints or varnishes.

    It may contain healthy, live knots up to 35mm diameter and small knotholes or cracks, so long as good repairs have been made. Light discolouration and some limited glue stains and good repairs are allowed.

  • Poplar veneer - BB (EN 635-2 Class III)

    Lightweight Plywood: Grade III (BB) poplar veneer

    Typically supplied as the reverse of B/BB (Class II/III) poplar plywood, or on both sides as BB/BB poplar plywood (Class III/III), this commercial face quality is ideal for secondary or non-visible uses and overlaying with laminates and veneers.

    Healthy knots up to 50mm diameter, small loose knots, cracks, bark and overlapping are allowed, along with some natural discolouration, glue stains. Open defects repaired with patches or putty work.

  • Birch veneer- B & BB (EN 635-2 Class I & II)

    Lightweight Plywood: Birch veneer face

    Standard sizes: 2440/2500x1220mm and 3100x1300mm

    Birch faced poplar plywood is typically requested as a light-weight alternative to patch-free birch-throughout plywood. It is often used for its aesthetic surface characteristics, especially where a lightweight product is required to match other materials.

    Also available to order in sizes: 1530/2440x1530mm, 1830x1830mm

  • Ilomba/Otie veneer- B & BB (EN 635-2 Class I & II)

    Lightweight Plywood: Ilomba veneer face

    Standard sizes: 2500x1220mm, 3100x1530mm

    Ilomba is specified when covering with very thin papers & foils that require a very exacting and high surface quality, as it has improved resistance to surface impact or bruising of the fibres.

    This veneer is often used in more industrial applications, e.g. where a lightweight plywood product with a hard surface is required, e.g. when overlaid with very thin papers.

Special order face options

  • Poplar veneer - AB (EN 635-2 Class I)

    Lightweight Plywood: Grade I (AB) poplar veneer

    Faces that may remain visible - ideal for any type of finishing, i.e. clear coatings such as varnishes & lacquer, or pigmented finishes such as paints & laminates.

    May contain a few pin knots or healthy & live knots without cracks, small, well-done putty repair work that blends well with the rest of the surface, and very light discolouration

  • Poplar veneer - C (EN 635-2 Class IV)

    Lightweight Plywood: Grade IV (C) poplar veneer

    Plywood face designed for packaging and similar uses.

    May contain all the natural wood characteristics and various processing defects, provided these do not compromise the functions of the plywood. (NB: The presence of fungi and metal parts is not allowed)

  • Okoume/Gaboon veneer- B & BB (EN 635-2 Class I & II)

    Lightweight Plywood: Okoume veneer face

    Standard sizes: 2500x1220mm

    Often called 'gaboon' in the UK, okoume is a pinky red veneer offering a surface that takes a primer or paint covering well.

    This veneer is typically used for the faces of plywoods that are required for use in exterior applications and/or where an excellent paint finish is vital.


    Lightweight Plywood: MDF face

    Standard sizes: 2520/3120/3700x1870mm

    3mm thick MDF/HDF faces offer the uniformity of MDF/HDF surfaces, while still retaining all of the advantages of a lightweight plywood construction.

    This composite product is often used where melamine papers and other coverings are to be bonded to the surfaces of plywood because it avoids the problems regularly experienced with blowout due to variable amounts of moisture held in the face veneers of plywood.


Standard thicknesses & typical weights:

  • 3mm =1.3 kg/m2
  • 4mm =1.7 kg/m2
  • 5mm =2.2 kg/m2
  • 6mm =2.6 kg/m2
  • 8mm =3.4 kg/m2
  • 9mm =3.9 kg/m2
  • 10mm =4.3 kg/m2
  • 12mm =5.2 kg/m2
  • 13mm =5.6 kg/m2
  • 14mm =6.0 kg/m2
  • 15mm =6.5 kg/m2
  • 16mm =6.9 kg/m2
  • 17mm =7.3 kg/m2
  • 18mm =7.7 kg/m2
  • 19mm =8.2 kg/m2
  • 20mm =8.6 kg/m2
  • 22mm =9.5 kg/m2
  • 25mm =10.8 kg/m2
  • 28mm =12.0 kg/m2
  • 30mm =12.9 kg/m2
  • 35mm =15.1 kg/m2
  • 38mm =16.3 kg/m2
  • 40mm =17.2 kg/m2
  • 45mm =19.4 kg/m2
  • 50mm =21.5 kg/m2
  • 55mm =23.7 kg/m2
  • 60mm =25.8 kg/m2

Technical Details

  • Standard sizes:
    • 2440x1220mm
    • 2500x1220mm
    • 2500x1530mm
    • 3100x1530mm
    • 2520x1250mm
    • 2520x1750mm
    • 2520x1850mm
    • 1870x2520mm
    • 1870x3120mm
    • 1870x3700mm
    • 1870x4100mm
    • 2100x3120mm
    • 2100x3700mm
    • 2100x4100mm
    • 2520x1870mm
    • 3120x1870mm
    • 3700x1870mm
    • 4100x1870mm
    • 3120x2100mm
    • 3700x2100mm
    • 4100x2100mm
  • Special sizes:
    • Any size can be considered, up to maximum 4100x2100mm / 2100x4200mm
  • Tolerances:
    • As per EN 315 (other tolerances by arrangement)
  • Face grades:
    • To EN 635-2
  • Specification:
    • EN 636-1 - Interior & moisture resistant usage
    • EN 636-2 - Covered exterior usage
    • EN 636-3 - Fully exterior usage
  • Bonding Quality:
    • EN 314-2 Class 1 - Interior & low moisture conditions
    • EN 314-2 Class 2 - Humid conditions
    • EN 314-2 Class 3 - High moisture resistance
    • Glue according to CARB2, NAF (no added urea-formaldehyde) and ULEF (Ultra Low Emitting Formaldehyde) avaialble to special order in multiple pallets per item