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Mecmesin/PPT Group, UK

Lap shear testing of plywood

Case study
Lap shear testing of plywood specimens to EN314-1
Lap shear testing of plywood specimens to EN314-1
Lap shear test results comparison of plywood specimens to EN314-1
Lap shear test results comparison of plywood specimens to EN314-1


  • High-capacity twin-column software-controlled tensile tester
  • Pneumatic planar vice grips with serrated jaw faces


  • Software control runs the test to the standard method
  • Quick-change fixtures optimise efficiency and repeatability
  • Automatic calculation of the relevant properties of the specimen
  • Consistent output of results report in customer-designed format


Estonian Plywood (part of the Lemeks/Tarmeko group) is a leading manufacturer of uncoated birch plywood; harvested from sustainable well-managed forests. Their years of expertise in raw materials, preparation and plywood construction has seen them build an unrivalled reputation for delivering cross-bonded birch veneers with outstanding strength properties.

Plywood, which is made with glues and resins that bond thin plies of wood into structural sheets, is used extensively for a variety of applications including construction, flooring, outdoor decking and vehicle panelling. As significant components in load-bearing structures, it was important for Estonian Plywood to test the physical strength of their bonded products to ensure they meet the rigorous performance standards required.


The European Norm EN314-1 stipulates methods for determining the bonding quality of veneer plywood, blockboard and laminboard by shear testing. Mecmesin’s MultiTest 50-i tensile tester was the ideal choice as a bench-top model, capable of applying the high loads necessary to separate the bonded plywood in the shear direction.

In accordance with EN314-1 tests are conducted on specifically-prepared wet specimens, which are wiped dry. To minimise the risk of wood samples slipping during testing, a pair of pneumatically-operated vice grips were used to apply a constant clamping force via serrated jaw faces, which bite securely into the wood.

The motor inside the rigid twin-column frame of the MultiTest 50-i is driven by Mecmesin’s Emperor control software at a constant rate, ensuring optimum repeatability. The breaking load in newtons (N) and the shear strength in N/mm² are calculated automatically by the software and included in test reports configured to Estonian Plywood’s needs.

Test equipment

  • MultiTest 50-i software-controlled tensile tester
  • ILC-T 25kN loadcell
  • Pair of Pneumatic Vice Grips (MecS240G-S50)