AS 6669 is a quality standard for non-structural and structural film faced plywood used in the Australia and New Zealand building industry. The standard specifies requirements for the manufacture, grading, finishing, and branding of plywood used specifically in formwork, with a maximum length of 3100mm and width of 1500mm, intended to meet off-form surface finish requirements of Classes2, 3, 4 and 5 as specified in AS3610.1. Equivalent standards are AS 6669, AS 6669-2007, AS 6669:2016.
The typical size of an F17 formply is 1800*1200*17mm and 2400*1200*17mm. Glued with phenolic A-bond to meet the structural grade. Almost all formply has a black overlay.
Technical Requirement of AS 6669
F17 Stress Grade
The structural formply is generally sold as a graded product. F17 is the stress grade of plywood. Besides F17, there are also F14, F8, F11, F14, F22, F27 stress grade. The stress grades are also used for bracing plywood and sheathing plywood of AS/NZS 2269 standard.
AS/NZS 2269 is a standard for structural plywood in both Australia and New Zealand. AS 6669 is a standard for formwork plywood in Australia only. Even though the New Zealand standard committee didn’t participate in AS 6669, its market still recognizes this standard.
If two plywood has the same construction, then the higher stress grade plywood is stronger than lower stress grade plywood. Because stiffness and strength are a combination of the F-grade and the construction, if two plywood is different in structure, F17 is not necessarily better than F14 plywood.
Outer Veneer Grades
F, C, and D grade is the veneer quality of the face and back veneers which is beneath the surface overlay film.
Film Surface Quality Grades
Classes 2, 3, 4 and 5. AS 3610.1 defines classes of off-form finish quality of concrete. It is almost impossible to obtain Class 1 surface finish as prescribed in AS 3610.1 using any formwork plywood product.
Type A bond and type B bond is used for F17 formply manufacture. Most products on the market use type A bond with E0 formaldehyde emission. The type A bond is phenolic glue and it makes sure the veneers are glued permanently.
Type C bond is urea-formaldehyde. It is also permitted by the formwork plywood standard but not accepted by most construction companies.
Formply can use different coatings or films however the most common film is paper impregnated with phenolic adhesive (A-bond). During the manufacturing process, the adhesive cure on the panel surface to produce the typical plastic film seen on most formply. It is usually black in color for the Australia market.
Certified F17 Companies
As of May 2020, there are quite a dozen companies certified with AS 6669 globally. The number doesn’t include the factories that were not registered with JAS-ANZ. These manufacturers are from Australia, Malaysia, China, Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand. Each of them cater to different customers with their products in various quality range.
- Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia Limited also trading as Engineered Wood Products Association Pty Ltd (EWPA)
- Bureau Veritas Australia Pty. Ltd.
- SAI Global Certification Services Pty Ltd Trading as SAI Global
- BSI Group (Australia and New Zealand) Pty Ltd
- CertMark International Pty Ltd
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Use Formply With Care
It is important for users to store and protect the formply well. Each pallet must be placed on balanced support. If the formply is used outdoor, there should be a cover for sunshine and rain.
It is good practice to oil each panel before put in place. And clean the phenolic film face after each use.
No, the phenolic overlay film only slows the rate at which water can penetrate the surface. The sealed plywood edges performs a similar function slowing the uptake of moisture. They can not fully stop the humid or water.
Formply has no predictable reliable load and engineering design values. Film faced plywood can not be used for concrete formwork which require predictable reliable load or engineering design values.
Although concrete formwork is a load-bearing application, formply is a temporary construction. For this reason, there is a separate standard for plywood used in concrete formwork AS 6669.
Glue bond of formwork plywood only needs the ability to withstand both short term static loading and short-term exposure to water and heat so it doesn’t have to be structural. Formply standard AS6669 allows the use of A-bond, B-bond, or C-bond glues. B-bond and C-bond formply are not structural.
A-bond formply has a very strict quality management. It is almost impossible to produce a good phenolic bond plywood without good production practice and good factory management.