What is MDF (Board/Wood) – Its Uses & What it is Made of

By: | May 27 , 2021
mdf board wood

The market of engineered wooden products used for making furniture and other items consist of plywood, particle board, strand board, medium density fiberboard, etc. The engineered wood to be discussed here is MDF. The basic question is what is mdf? Medium Density Fiberboard or MDF is a flat panel which is manufactured by gluing organic wooden fibers with resin and wax by a process which uses high temperature and pressure.

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Thus, the answer to the question of what is mdf board is that it is a dense engineered wood panel which is used as a building material for homes and commercial properties such as furniture and flooring.

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What are MDF boards made of?

The chief constituent of MDF is wooden fiber. The common question is what is mdf wood fiber? MDF wood fiber can be obtained from any species of wood or wood residues and agricultural wastes such as sawdust or wood shavings. Eucalyptus wood fibers are commonly used to impart moisture resistance properties to the MDF boards. The wood fibers are dehydrated before being used to make MDF boards.

Adhesive is another constituent of MDF boards. Adhesive used to bind the fibers is a synthetic resin. The commonly used synthetic resin is Urea Formaldehyde. Apart from adhesive, paraffin wax and a preservative are also present in the MDF board. Paraffin wax is added either in melted form or as dissolved form in mineral spirit. Preservative is added at the mixing stage of adhesive. The preservative can either be Trichlorophenol or Sodium Pentachlorate.

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What is the process?

The wooden fibers are mixed with resin and wax. The mixture is then heated to a very high temperature and pressed to form MDF board. Modern technology used for the process ensures that the density of the MDF board is uniform. The technology also ensures that problems such as knots, twists, air pockets, bonding defects and graining issues are all eliminated from the MDF boards.

Machines finally sand the panels to impart a very smooth surface finish to them. The smooth surface finish makes them ideal for carving, painting, lacquering, veneering, etc. The panels are then cut into specified dimensions.

Related Post: Advantages and Disadvantages of MDF Board

What are the uses of MDF?

The following points will enlighten you if you are wondering what is mdf used for.

  • MDF board is used to construct many types of inexpensive furniture such as bookshelves, entertainment centres, etc. It is also used in making pre-fabricated furniture. MDF lowers the cost of making furniture because it is economical and produced easily.
  • Lightweight MDF boards which weigh less than conventional MDF boards are used to make things which need to be moved regularly. These include mobile homes, tradeshow booths, theater sets, etc.
  • MDF board is commonly used to make interior cabinets in homes such as kitchen cabinets and shelving units. Wood laminates are commonly used to impart a natural wooden appearance to cabinets made of MDF.
  • Flexible MDF boards can be easily bent or curved into any desired shape. Such MDF boards are used to make things requiring significant curves or slopes.
  • MDF boards have fire retardant properties. This is why MDF boards are widely used in the construction of commercial buildings such as offices and shops which are required to meet certain safety standards. MDF boards are also used in construction of homes for protection against fire.
  • Moisture resistant MDF boards are made of a special kind of resin which provides moisture resistance. Such MDF boards are used to make flooring, furniture or other kinds of things used in damp environments such as kitchens or bathrooms. They can also be used as vapour barriers to prevent heat loss in homes.
  • MDF is also an excellent roofing material and is used to make backing for shingles of roofs.
  • MDF panels made of wood, phenolic resins, zinc borate and water repellent are suitable for external usage. Such MDF panels do not contain urea formaldehyde. They are resistant against moisture, rotting and termites and are widely used for making external doors, signage and other outdoor architectural products.
  • MDF has soundproofing properties. Hence, it is used for making speaker casings, walls of media rooms and apartment buildings and floor underlayment to prevent sound from travelling through the floor.
  • MDF panels designed for display purpose are used to secure shelves displaying products in retail stores. Such panels have deep grooves.

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