What is Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL)

LVL means Laminated Veneer Lumber. This is a member of engineered wood families and well known as a construction material. LVL is favor by its durability, versatility and competitive price. LVL plywood has been a popular go-to option and an alternative to solid wood in the construction of the house.

What is LVL

LVL plywood (Laminated Veneer Lumber) is basically manufactured on an industrial wood base with many layers of veneer laminated in one direction (parallel) and the adhesion of plywood glues. LVL is different from LVB and LVD in the layers’ direction. Within 3 types of plywood structure, LVL has the most homogeneous structure. Next time, we will go in details to find out differences between LVL, LVB and LVD. In this article, let’s focus on LVL.

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How is LVL made

LVL is made from rotary-peeled veneers that are bonded together under heat and pressure. A diverse range of species can be used to produce LVL, almost hardwood to ensure durability, At Weego, we use hardwood such as rubber, cashew and acacia or combi core to produce members that are beyond conventional lumber lengths.

Veneers are put into cold press machine to shape the bond in the layers of the board. Formaldehyde resins provide waterproof bonds. Then workers will check the plywood core to see if veneers are properly glued and surface is perfectly flat, they will handle the defects before putting the core into the hot press machine.

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Our hot press machine

The laid-up assembly of veneers then is sent to a hot press in which it is consolidated under heat and pressure. Hot pressing has two main objectives:

– To press the glue into a thin layer over each sheet of veneer

–  To activate the thermosetting resins

We now let out the plywood core for cooling down, check the surface and handle defects. After 1-2 days, we sand the surface of the board with a sanding machine. And to form the finished plywood board, the edges shall be trimmed so the boards have the right size as required. Thanks to its structure, LVL can be cut to size upon customer’s request. Weego can offer LVL with length up to 4.1 meter, width up to 1.2 meter and thickness up to 63mm. You can check details here: LVL

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Weego LVL

Will LVL burn in a fire?

Similar to other mass timber products, LVL naturally resists fire because its chars. In the event of a fire, this char on the outside forms a protective layer while retaining strength. This slows combustion significantly, allowing time to evacuate the building safely. In fire testing of LVL plywood, its char rate was comparable to those of sawn lumber and within the range previously found for different species of solid sawn lumber.

Will LVL rot or mold?

LVL plywood, like other wood products, LVL will not rot or acquire mold and termites when designed and installed correctly. However, LVL is not totally waterproof so exposure to water should be avoided during and after construction. You can seal the ends and edges of LVL plywood to prevent moisture penetration. For long term exposure, it is required to add a protective coating for preservative treatment.

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The face of Weego LVL

What is LVL used for?

LVL plywood is used a lot in frames, beams of housing structures, construction and high-rise building projects. When cross-bonded for increased stiffness it can be used to form wall and floor panels with load-bearing capacity. Along with film faced plywood, LVL is another type of plywood that is favored in both civil and industrial construction. Moreover, it is also widely used in the production of wooden furniture: bed slats, sofa tables, dining table, kitchen cabinets, etc.

How does LVL compare to other building materials?

LVL is a solid, highly predictable and uniform wood product. Its consistency in quality streamlines construction and reduces waste on the jobsite. LVL can be made from fast-growing trees and many species can be used interchangeably without impacting performance. It makes LVL more ecofriendly as an attractive alternative to more carbon intensive materials. As an engineered product, LVL is less prone to shrinkage or warping and is able to span longer distances and support heavier loads than conventional lumber.

LVL plywood is becoming more and more popular in our daily life. You can see it in your home projects, woodworking and furniture. It is famous for its high quality, durability and competitive price. With quality control, LVL plywood is strong, stiff and uniform. LVL beams can meet all customers’ requirements.

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