Weyerhaeuser has introduced Lumin plywood, a hardwood and softwood product that is derived from plantation-grown eucalyptus and pine. It is currently available in 4x8 panels in thicknesses of 12mm, 15mm and 18mm. The panels are available in a variety of grades and layup configurations. Lumin plywood is PS 1-07 and CE2+ certified for construction use in the United States and Europe.
"The plywood panel can be an all-hardwood product made out of eucalyptus [from] plantations or it can be a product that is a combination of eucalyptus and pine," says Phil Leupold, vice president of global sales for Weyerhaeuser. "Our plantations in Uruguay are about half and half, both pine and eucalyptus. We manufacture the product in either a 100 percent eucalyptus panel or in a combination panel, which utilizes veneer from both species. Eucalyptus is a hardwood species; it is very characteristic to some of the tropical hardwood species that you might see like lauan or meranti. It has a very similar look and very similar characteristics."
Lumin is lightweight, but strong, and suitable for contractors, manufacturers and other users of plywood panels. The company states that if you compare Lumin to Southern pine, radiata pine or similar species, it is lighter, and the eucalyptus gives it a strong and flat panel so the product is unlikely to warp or bend. Additionally, Weyerhaeuser is promoting Lumin as a 'green' product because of its sustainability.
"The green factor has been a great attribute," Leupold says. "A lot of customers are looking for viable, tropical replacement alternatives in the market - whether it be in the United States, Europe or Mexico. Eucalyptus is probably one of the most viable alternatives for tropical replacement panels that are out there right now. It has a very good environmental integrity, plus it has the same appearance and features that you find with lauan or meranti and we do position it very competitively against those tropical products.
"The end-use of the product is heavily into furniture products, possibly products that are a core for laminating. A lot of applications in the Northeast actually cut it into parts and wrap it for door jambs, for moldings, for different items like that. So it ends up in more of an industrial application than it does in a residential application."
Weyerhaeuser first became involved in tree plantations in Brazil with its Lyptus product, a different hybrid of eucalyptus that was introduced to the U.S. market nearly a decade ago.
Contact: Weyerhaeuser Co., 33663 Weyerhaeuser Way S., Federal Way, WA 98003. Tel: 877-668-0155. www.lumin.com
This article originally appeared in the July 2010 issue.