By Abhijit Phadke
Plywood is manufactured in a variety of grades in India and across the world, and just by knowing these plywood grades we can determine the quality of the plywood and know its potential uses.
This article lists the most common types of grades of plywood that are available in India.
1. MR grade plywood
MR stands for 'Moisture Resistant' plywood. Its also known as Commercial plywood and is the most commonly used material for making home and office furniture. Its of an Interior grade and meant for making furniture that will be used indoors.
2.BWR grade plywood
The acronym BWR stands for 'Boiling Water Resistant'. Its an exterior grade waterproof plywood, that is better than MR grade plywood. It is the preferred choice of material for making those pieces of furniture that are likely to get wet. e.g. Kitchen cabinets and other Kitchen furniture. It's also costlier than MR grade ply.
Note: There is also another grade known as BWP, which is more commonly used with blockboards. Similar to BWR grade plywood, BWP blockboards are also of an exterior grade having waterproofing qualities.
Marine grade plywood (Marine ply)
Marine grade plywood is superior in strength and quality to both MR and BWR grades of plywood. It's primarily used for exterior marine applications such as for building boats and for the woodwork required to be done in ships.
Apart from these 3 basic plywood grades, there are several types of plywood such as flexible plywood that can be rolled up into sheets and useful for making curved furniture, and FR grade fire retardant plywood which is good at resisting fires and used in public places such as theatres. There are also a variety of Industrial grade plywoods such as Structural plywood, Phenolic Film-faced Concrete Shuttering plywood used in building construction work.
While there are so many types of plywood available in the market, the two most commonly used grades for home furniture requirements are the commercial MR grade and the Waterproof BWR grade of plywood.