UPM’s New Formable Plywood Bends Easy

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Woodworking Network– UPM, Lahti, 27 January 2011 at 12:00 EET) UPM Plywood has developed a new way to manufacture layered composites. The first application of the new technology is formable plywood which will be introduced at the furniture industry international Interzum trade fair in Cologne, Germany on 25-28 May 2011.

The core of the new technology is a special adhesive film which allows the plywood to be formed after manufacturing. Formable plywood can be used to make bent wooden structures for example for furniture easily and effectively. Owing to the new adhesive technology, the products will also be stronger and more stable. UPM has applied for patents for the technology and its applications.

The forming process starts by heating the plywood boards after which they can be bent to the desired shape. As the plywood cools down, it will remain in the given shape and maintain its original strength properties.

The Finnish furniture manufacturer Isku will be the first to take formable plywood into use in mass production. The company has also been a partner for UPM in applying the new technology to furniture manufacturing. By using the formable plywood instead of traditional form pressing technology, we can simplify and enhance our production and make stronger and more durable products easier than before. Easy formability of the plywood allows furniture designers to explore whole new opportunities. The stability and accurate formability of the new plywood will also decrease production loss significantly, says Kari Soljamo, Product Development Director at Isku.

The new adhesive bonds not only wood but many minerals (rocks, ceramics etc.), glass, metals, textiles, paper and cardboard. Materials can also be combined to create multi-material composites. However, the uniqueness of the technology is best seen when bonding together flexible materials especially wood veneer, as in plywood.

Formable plywood is very well suited for many end uses such as furniture and various industrial applications. Applying the technology to other materials will broaden the end use field still further. Formability allows plywood to enter many new end use areas were superior strength to weight ratio is needed. It also diversifies the usage of plywood in many existing end uses, says Kaido Kukk, Director, New Business Development at UPM Plywood.

Formable plywood will be introduced at the furniture industry international Interzum trade fair in Cologne, Germany on 25-28 May 2011. UPM stand number is C-080 in hall 5.1.

UPM leads the integration of bio and forest industries into a new, sustainable and innovation-driven future. Our products are made of renewable raw materials and are recyclable. UPM consists of three Business Groups: Energy and pulp, Paper, and Engineered materials. The Group employs around 23,000 people and it has production plants in 15 countries. In 2009, UPM’s sales amounted to EUR 7.7 billion. UPM’s shares are listed on the Helsinki stock exchange.

UPM Plywood offers high-quality WISA plywood and veneer products mainly for construction, transport and furniture industries. The sales of UPM Plywood in 2009 were EUR 306 million and it has about 2,600 employees. UPM has 6 plywood mills and 2 veneer mills in Finland, a plywood mill in Russia and a plywood mill in Estonia.

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