When it comes to making plywood sheets, there are many different types of glue that can be used, including Urea Formaldehyde, Melamine, and Phenolic glue.
This leads many people to wonder, “why don’t they use the same kind of glue for everything?” Actually, while one type of glue may be right for some plywood products, others may be better for another. Let’s break it down.
Urea Formaldehyde, also known as plastic resin glue, is extensively used in hardwood plywood production.
It’s a synthetic resin made by combining formaldehyde and urea. It’s used to make plywood sheets, particleboard, and wood panels. It sets hard, has a history of reliability, and is moisture resistant.
On the downside, it needs to be used in a well-ventilated area because it can be toxic, and it has a limited shelf life of one year.
Melamine glue is a hard, thermosetting plastic material similar to laminate. It’s made from melamine and formaldehyde and is typically used to strengthen urea formaldehyde glues and increase the resistance to weathering. You’ve probably seen melamine used on cabinets and doors. It doesn’t have the “real wood” feel and often has a particleboard edge, making it weaker than plywood or solid wood pieces.
Phenolic glue is a synthetic polymer made by combining phenol with formaldehyde.
It’s generally used as bonding agents and binder for particleboard, plywood sheets, hardboard, and oriented strain board.
It’s especially useful for waterproofing, making it ideal for construction panels, beams, and for marine plywood. It sets hard and rigid, has been proved to be effective, and is moisture resistant. Phenolic glue also needs heat and pressure to cure, isn’t useful for armature woodworkers because of the machinery needed to cure it, and can be irritating if not used in a ventilated space.
When it comes to the type of glue used in plywood production, the majority of manufacturers use urea formaldehyde. It’s easy to work with, readily available, and has a long track record of providing a strong hold over time. Melamine is also useful in plywood production, but is mainly used for decorative purposes.
And phenolic glues are great for waterproofing but may not be as useful as urea formaldehyde for plywood sheets and particleboard.
The biggest disadvantage to using all of these glues is that they require formaldehyde, which can be irritating to the skin and deadly in enclosed places.
When producing plywood sheets and other wood products, one type of glue or a combination may be used, depending on the intended result. If you’re considering using one of these types of glue for woodwork in your home or business, remember – safety first. These are powerful chemicals so wear protective gear and only use them in well-ventilated areas.
Then get ready for your project to stick together for years to come.