Formply Structural Plywood: The Quick Product Lowdown On f17 Form Ply

Formply Structural Plywood: A Description Of The Product

Formply is a cost-effective formwork solution that is often used in commercial and residential construction projects. Its strength and stability make it an ideal product for forming structural elements such as columns, walls, and slabs. Additionally, formply is easy to install and remove and can be reused multiple times, making it an environmentally friendly choice. Formply is also highly resistant to shrinking, swelling, and warping, meaning it can be used in a wide range of climates and weather conditions.

Formply is a plywood product. A plywood sheet is a type of sheet building material used in furniture making and construction. It is fabricated by gluing thin veneers of wood together. Plywood is available in many varieties. In general, plywood is graded from A to D. An A grade is free of defects and has a good appearance. In contrast, C/D grades are usually used for structural applications due to their flaws. Therefore, you need to choose the right plywood for each application.

Form plywood can be found as a high-quality F14 plywood made from pine. This grade of plywood can withstand the rigors of construction, as it is coated with smooth resin paper. This plywood is durable, reusable and moisture resistant. Cross-laminated construction reduces expansion and contraction caused by changes in temperature and rain.

The Basics Of Formply

The building industry uses Formply primarily for concrete formwork. An overlay (high density overlay – HD0) of paper is bonded to the surface of the plywood. This paper is impregnated with phenolic resin, serving as to create a barrier between the curing concrete and the hardwood plywood surface.

Timber sheets with a smooth, attractive finish have a structural grading similar to that of structural plywood. 

Phenol formaldehyde resin is used to glue the veneers together. Formply timber sheets are designed to resist moisture damage due to the hardwearing Type A marine bond. As a builder, form ply timber sheets are an excellent option that is high-performance, aesthetically appealing, and able to withstand the rigors of your construction project.

Available Formply Sizes

Form ply Sheet Sizes

Sheets typically measure 1800/2400 x 1200mm.

Form Ply Thickness

It is available in a 12mm, 17mm, 19mm, or 25mm thickness.

Formply: Ideal Surface For Concrete Finish

It is an ideal surface for pouring concrete with a Class 2 finish on the first pour for builders and formworkers. Optimised forms such as table forms and jump forms can be generated with it. Timber and steel frame systems can be used with it.

Formply Environment Information

There are some Formply products with a formaldehyde emission level of E0. Other certifications available are FSC and PEFC.

Formply Has Tendency To Bow

Natural wood products such as plywood may bow due to ambient weather conditions. Manufacturers and distributors of plywood generally take all precautions to ensure flatness upon dispatch; however, once the sheets have left the factory, there is no guarantee that they will stay flat unless they are handled and fastened properly.

The Australian Standard

Look for plywood that is compliant with AS 6669 in Australia, which is certified by the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA).

Formply should be designed and manufactured to AS/NZS 2269 with ‘A’ Bond glue and stress graded to F14 and F17.

Using Formply: The Advantages

Despite being exposed to rain and temperature fluctuations, form ply timber sheets are less likely to expand or contract due to their cross-laminated construction. As a result, form ply is ideal for use as a foundation for large deck forms. As well as being attractive and durable, the smooth surface protects both the front and back faces from damage. As well as using form sheets for steel and timber frame structures, they are also flexible enough to be used on concrete structures. As well as being lighter in weight, they are also suitable for concrete slab thicknesses, a broad range of frame spacings and surface tolerances.

Other Formply Applications

Other than being ideal for concrete formwork, formply wood sheets have virtually limitless uses, including the construction of bridges, cabinets, form ply furniture, form ply shelving, and benchtops. With its versatility and toughness, formply can be used in any application in which structural strength and performance are required.

Types Of Formply Available

There is a large range of formply available, depending on your specific needs. There are a number of varieties with different cores; including Birch, Eucalypt and Radiata Pine. 

Birch Formply

A black or brown overlay has traditionally been used, but with other options, such as Birch cores, you can choose from a wide range of different colours, such as Black, White, Blue, and Red. Due to this, Birch Formply has become extremely popular among commercial and domestic cabinet makers.

Where To Get Formply

Thinking that you need some Formply? Bunnings is a good starting point. They have a solid range to get you started. There is also Mitre 10 as an alternative.

Form Ply vs Marine Ply

Marine plywood must meet three major requirements that make it different from other types of plywood:

  1. The inner veneer layers cannot contain any voids. Whenever they become saturated with moisture, voids can cause delamination. 
  2. A waterproof glue must be used to manufacture marine plywood. 
  3. A marine-grade plywood typically has a higher-quality face veneer than what is typically found on exterior-grade structural plywood.

The majority of marine grade plywood will be manufactured to meet the WBP (water boil proof) standard, though this is not a strict requirement. Although marine plywood may not be WBP rated, it may still meet the requirement if the manufacturer hasn’t invested in having their product tested.

While marine plywood was originally developed for use in boatbuilding, it has found a home in many other areas.

Marine plywood has many similarities to Formply. Historically, before the existence of Formply, Marine plywood was used to make concrete formwork. This was accomplished by using the highly moisture-resistant marine plywood and coating it with oil, usually used motor oil, so it released from the concrete during curing.

So the upshot is that marine plywood and formply are very similar. Formply is a more specific version for the purposes of being used in concrete formwork.

The product Formply is a structural plywood, like marine ply. When used where it will always be in contact with moisture, this product takes the idea of moisture-proof plywood to another level.

It is essential that the plywood used for creating concrete forms be highly moisture resistant, and have a waterproof outer layer that can be easily separated from the curing concrete. 

While Formply does not strictly meet the three requirements of marine grade plywood, in some ways it can be considered to exceed them.

Form Ply Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is formply structural plywood?

A: Formply structural plywood is a type of plywood that is specifically designed for use in concrete formwork applications. It is manufactured using high-density veneers with a hardwood face and phenolic overlay, which makes it highly durable and ideal for use in construction.

Q: What are the dimensions of formply structural plywood?

A: Formply structural plywood is available in various dimensions, but the most common dimension is x 1200 x 2400mm.

Q: Is formply structural plywood resistant to water and moisture?

A: Yes, formply structural plywood is resistant to water and moisture. It is manufactured using a resin impregnated paper bonded with phenolic resin, which makes it highly resistant to water and moisture.

Q: What is the structural rating of formply plywood?

A: Formply plywood is typically rated as F17 structural form work. This means that it has a structural rating of F17, which indicates its strength and suitability for use in formwork applications.

Q: Where can I buy formply structural plywood?

A: Formply structural plywood is available for purchase from various suppliers and stockists. You can check with your local timber supplier or construction materials store to find out if they offer formply plywood.

Q: Is formply structural plywood suitable for exterior applications?

A: Yes, formply structural plywood is suitable for exterior applications. It is manufactured using high-quality veneers and resin impregnated paper, which makes it highly resistant to weather conditions and suitable for outdoor use.

Q: Can formply structural plywood be used for concrete formwork in Melbourne?

A: Yes, formply structural plywood can be used for concrete formwork in Melbourne. It is a popular choice among construction professionals in Melbourne due to its superior quality and durability.

Q: How is formply structural plywood manufactured?

A: Formply structural plywood is manufactured using high-density veneers with a hardwood face and phenolic overlay. The veneers are bonded together using a phenolic resin impregnated paper, which creates a strong and durable plywood panel.

Q: Is formply structural plywood available in Sydney?

A: Yes, formply structural plywood is available in Sydney. You can check with your local timber suppliers or construction materials stores in Sydney to find out if they have formply plywood in stock.

Q: Does formply structural plywood come with a warranty?

A: The warranty for formply structural plywood may vary depending on the supplier or manufacturer. It is recommended to check with the supplier or manufacturer regarding the warranty details of the specific product you are purchasing.

Q: Is Formply Waterproof?

A: Formply is not waterproof, but it is resistant to moisture. This makes it suitable for wet areas such as bathrooms and laundry rooms, but it is not recommended for areas that are constantly exposed to water. It is made from layers of veneers that are glued together with a waterproof adhesive, which helps to provide some protection against moisture. However, it is still not as resistant to moisture as other materials, such as marine plywood or other laminates. To ensure maximum durability and water resistance, it is best to treat formply with a water-repellent coating or sealant. This will help to protect the material from water damage, ensuring that it will last for many years to come.

Q: What Is Formply?

A: Formply is a type of plywood that has been designed specifically for use in concrete formwork. It is made from a combination of hardwood and softwood veneers that are laminated together with waterproof adhesives. Formply is a strong and durable product that is able to withstand the weight of wet concrete and provide a level of stability to the formwork structure. The surface of formply is also extremely smooth, allowing for a concrete finish of the highest quality.

Q: Can you make formply furniture?

A: Yes, formply furniture can be made. It is cheaper than traditional solid wood furniture, but it is still strong and durable. The formply sheets are cut to size and glued together to create the furniture. It can be finished with a variety of different colors and finishes. Formply furniture is often used in commercial settings, such as schools and offices, because of its durability and low cost. However, it can also look great in home settings. It is easy to clean and maintain, making it a great choice for furniture that will see a lot of use.


In conclusion, formply is a cost-effective and versatile formwork solution that is widely used in commercial and residential construction projects. Its strength, stability, and resistance to shrinking, swelling, and warping make it an ideal choice for forming structural elements such as columns, walls, and slabs. It is easy to install, remove, and reuse, making it an environmentally friendly option.

Formply is a type of plywood that is specifically designed for concrete formwork. It is available in various sizes and thicknesses, allowing for flexibility in different applications. The high-quality F14 plywood made from pine is particularly durable and moisture-resistant.

Formply has a range of advantages, including its suitability for pouring concrete with a Class 2 finish, its ability to create optimized forms, and its resistance to moisture damage. It can be used for a wide array of applications beyond formwork, such as bridge construction, furniture making, and shelving.

While there are similarities between formply and marine plywood, formply is specifically tailored for concrete formwork and has enhanced moisture resistance properties. It is important to choose formply that complies with the Australian Standard AS 6669 and is stress graded to F14 and F17.

Overall, formply is a reliable and durable product that offers excellent performance and versatility in construction projects. Whether you are a professional builder or a DIY enthusiast, formply is a valuable asset that can contribute to the success and quality of your construction endeavors.

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