APAwood – Europe

The leading resource for information about engineered wood products for the UK and Europe

About APA

Products & Trademarks

Official Guidelines

Green Topics


Contact us

Industrial Panel Selection Guide

APA’s Industrial Panel Selection Guide

The Industrial Panel Selection Guide (download here) helps you complete your specification. These notes tell you how to work with it.

The guide is a series of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ questions in four worksheets to help you decide which plywood or OSB product you will need for your specific non-construction application.  For example, it addresses issues such as smoothness, overlays, size and number of knots and knot holes, suitability for painting and staining etc.

For a ‘yes’ answer you circle the number in the right hand column. A ‘no’ requires no action.  You take the highest numbers for each worksheet to determine your  APA Industrial Category Index.

For example, if the highest circled numbers are 7 on the first worksheet, 1 on the second, 3 on the third and 1 on the fourth, the Industrial Category Index for the required panel is 7-1-3-1.  You then identify your panel by matching your numbers in the Panel Translator Chart or Characteristics Locator Charts .

Guide to worksheets

Worksheet 1: Panel face characteristics, page 9

Worksheet 2: Panel back characteristics, page 11

Worksheet 3: First crossband characteristics, page 13

Worksheet 4:  Inner layer characteristics, page 15

Panel Translator Chart: page 19

Characteristics Locator Charts: pages 20-23

Substitute Panels

If a panel with the Industrial Category Index for your application is not available as one of the common APA panel construction grades, it is possible to select a substitute panel. Because the Industrial Category Index identifies minimum acceptable characteristics, any panel with Characteristic Numbers in each category equal to or greater than the original number may be substituted.

For instance, if an application calls for a panel with an Industrial Category Index of 10-10-3-3, a panel with the number 109-10-9-9 would also work.  However, a panel number of 10-9-9-9 would be unacceptable because the second number is lower than the second number in the original Industrial Category Index.