Face checking in decorative maple veneered plywood panels is a significant
problem for hardwood plywood manufacturers, furniture makers, cabinetmakers, and consumers. Efforts made by panel producers and researchers to minimize checking conducted to-‐date have been limited, and produced contradictory results. In this study the impact of four manufacturing factors believed to contribute to check development in decorative maple veneer panels were determined. The factors investigated were face veneer thickness and preparation, lathe-‐check orientation, adhesive and core type. An efficient, automated, optical technique based on digital image correlation principles was developed and used to detect and measure checks as they develop.
The novel new method for characterizing check severity and development was effective in efficiently measuring checking for a substantial number of samples. The results of the factor screening analysis reveal intricate four way interactions between factor levels contribute to check development, and that some combinations are likely to exhibit much more checking than others.