plywood core types

Plywood Core Types

There are many types of plywood core when you import plywood from China. The most popular is poplar core, eucalyptus core, birch core, finger joint core and marine grade core.

Plywood Core Types

The plywood core is considered the most important part of the plywood sheet. It determines the strength and durability of the plywood. Any good ply should have a good core.

As a plywood manufacturer in China, we have multiple choices in terms of plywood core material and grades. In China, poplar is the cheapest core veneer. Chinese plywood factories produce 80% of their products with poplar. Poplar plywood is essentially the signature product of the Chinese plywood industry.

This article is going to give readers the deepest insights into the plywood core options and help them with importing plywood from China.

plywood core types

Poplar Veneer Core

Density: approximately 520 kgs/m3

Poplar is the most common wood material for the production of Chinese plywood. It is used for both hardwood faced plywood and film faced plywood.

Basically, there are two grades of poplar veneer core:

  • One Time Hot Press
  • Two Times Hot Press

What is the difference? Two times hot press poplar core are hot pressed and fixed before the the face lamination. That makes the two times hot press poplar core more even, smooth and flat. Its inner bonding strength is higher than one time hot press poplar core too. A good two times hot press poplar core can be marine grade.

poplar veneer core for plywood

Eucalyptus Veneer Core

Density: approximately 580-600 kgs/m3.

Eucalyptus is the main hardwood material in China. Almost all eucalyptus veneer core plywood are two times hot press.

Since the eucalyptus veneer is rougher than the poplar veneer, a eucalyptus veneer core plywood is usually laminated with a poplar surface before laminating other surfaces.

A good two times hot press eucalyptus core with proper glue can be marine grade as well.

eucalyptus veneer core for plywood


Density: approximately 550 kgs/m3

COMBI is short for combination. COMBI core is usually a mixture of poplar veneer and eucalyptus veneer. The combi plywood is a balance between poplar plywood and eucalyptus plywood. Factories make melamine faced plywood or film faced plywood with combi core.

Finger Joint Core (Recycled Core)

Some Chinese film faced plywood manufacturers use finger joint core to make ultra low price plyform. This type of core is made from used plywood. After join the plywood blocks, manufacturers will laminate extra layers of new veneer on both sides of the block. Hence the film on both sides.

Finger joint core film faced plywood is normally recommended to be reused 4-5 times only.

The finger joint core film faced plywood has a better surface than the one time press plywood. The reason is that one time press poplar plywood has an uneven poplar veneer beneath the phenolic film.

Currently China is the only producer of finger joint core plywood in the world. Our company is one of the largest manufacturers of finger joint plywood for formwork. Our production capacity of 18mm film faced plywood is about 300 containers per month. The finger joint core is becoming more and more recognized by builders due to its very low price.

finger joint core for film faced plywood

Strip Joint Core (recycled)

Strip joint core is also a recycled core which is very cheap compared with regular poplar core. Its strength is not as good as the fingerjoint core as well

strip joint core for plywood

MDF Core

Density: 680-750kgs/m3

Commonly laminated with melamine paper on one side or both sides. Or laminated with natural veneers on one side. Could be raw MDF, melamine faced MDF, veneered fancy MDF, slotted MDF board. Used for furniture production and decor.

See full details about MDF here.

mdf core

Particle Board Core

Density: 650-680 kgs/m3

Commonly laminated with melamine paper on both sides. A cheaper material than MDF for furniture production.

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