What is Aircraft Plywood?
Aircraft plywood is also known as airplane plywood, it is stronger, stable, and lighter than standard plywood. Aircraft plywood is mainly designed for aircraft construction.
Choosing the right materials for your project is important, but when you’re looking for materials to build an airplane or boat, it’s even more important to choose the right materials where safety is more important.
Uses of Aircraft plywood
Mainly aircraft plywood is used for making aircraft wing ribs, instrument panel construction, floorboards, skins for entire wing panels, leading edges of wings, etc.
But it certainly is not used only for airplanes, it is also often used in the manufacture of boats, model boats, doll houses, and boat parts. Because it is important for aircraft and boats to be lighter in weight.
Aircraft plywood can withstand moisture and weather for a longer period of time than regular plywood and solid wood.
Aircraft plywood has been used since World War II, The British Army used it to make aircraft and boats that could be easily carried from one place to another.
How is Aircraft Plywood Made?
Aircraft plywood is made by gluing several thin layers of birch or mahogany together with phenol-phenolic glue under high heat and pressure. Wood species can also be hard maple, walnut, beech, douglas fir, and so on. The type of wood chosen determines the quality and physical properties of the plywood.
Phenol-phenolic glue is a waterproof and weatherproof glue, which is also used for marine plywood and waterproof applications.
The manufacturing process for aircraft plywood is almost the same as for making other plywood but the material used to make aircraft plywood meets the MIL-P-6070B specifications.
Obviously, the cost of aircraft plywood is higher than regular and marine-grade plywood. But it justifies its own price.
The price of aircraft plywood depends on its thickness, grade, and the wood used. The price may also be different in different states.
Is Aircraft Plywood Waterproof?
Aircraft plywood is an excellent water and weather-resistant material but it is not completely waterproof. Even marine-grade plywoods are not 100% waterproof.
Aircraft plywood is made with waterproof and fireproof glue. This glue cannot prevent plywood veneers from rotting which are constantly exposed to moisture.
As we know that any kind of plywood needs proper exterior sealing in order to be used for outdoor purposes. You can seal the plywood with paint, polyurethane, or epoxy finish.
Can marine plywood replace Aircraft Plywood?
Marine plywood cannot replace aircraft plywood because it does not follow Mil-Spec 6070B standard. Marine plywood is made from multiple layers of douglas fir that are glued together with waterproof and weatherproof glue.
There are mainly two grades of marine plywood A-A and A-B. Here the first character “A” represents the front face and “B” the back face of the plywood.
“A” grade has high-quality veneers that do not contain defects and gaps while the “B” grade may have.
Marine plywood or regular plywood has many defects such as voids between layers and knots. Which weakens the structure.
Where to buy Aircraft Plywood?
There are hundreds of online and local stores where you can order aircraft plywood. Before purchasing whether the Plywood has a stump of MIL-P-6070B or not.