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All panels may be used as cores for the application of decorative faces (e.g. veneer, plastic laminate) to the face and back. The whole is referred to as a panel. The parts being a core covered by a face and a balancing back. To achieve balanced construction, panels must be an odd number of layers (plies) symmetrical from the center line; e.g., inner plies, except the innermost middle ply, should occur in pairs, using materials and adhesives on both sides that contract and expand, or are moisture permeable, at the same rate.A ply may consist of a single veneer, particleboard, medium density fiberboard, or hardboard. Each pair of inner plies should be of the same thickness and direction of grain at 90 degrees. Each ply of each pair is placed on opposite sides of the innermost ply or layer, alternating grain directions from the center out. (Particleboard and MDF do not have a specific grain orientation). The thinner the facing material, the less force it can generate to cause warping. The thicker the core, the more it can resist a warping movement or force.
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