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3M offers lightweight PU alternative to plywood

June 28, 2012

ST PAUL, MINN. (June 28, 2:25 p.m. ET) — 3M Co. has developed a lightweight and rot-resistant polyurethane foam alternative to plywood.

The PU foam boards with fiberglass reinforcement provide high strength in applications including marine, transportation and general construction, with a weight savings ranging from 30 to 60 percent vs.plywood, 3M said in a June 26 news release.

The reinforced PU foam is available in five densities ranging from 15 lb. to 26 lb. (6.8-11.8 kg) per cubic foot, and 3M said it complements its existing line of lighter density foam boards.

3M claims that unlike plywood, which can chip or pop loose during construction, its foam can be easily shaped with tools and secured to substrates with screws.

“Plywood is currently used in many applications where water causes it to degrade over time,” said Nick Harris, global business leader for 3M Engineered Products and Solutions. “3M Reinforced Polyurethane Foam not only gives manufacturers a longer-lasting alternative to plywood, but one that delivers weight reduction as well.”