Difference between MDF, woodfiber board and particleboard
MDF (medium-density fiberboard) is an engineered wood product made of fine wood chips. Fiber boards of the same thickness are manufactured from the wood, meant for felling, or wood wastes (chippings), that are milled to small fibers (chips), then subjected to high-pressure steam and fed to the rotating segments of refiner. All refined material immediately goes to the drier and subsequent glueing.
The difference between chips, used for particle board and for MDF, is like the difference between products, run through meat grinder and mixer. Wood particles are glued together with the help of lignin and wax (paraffin). Therefore, MDF is a very eco-friendly material.
Products made of MDF can be installed in premises with a relative humidity of 80%, in comparison with 60% for wood products.
Advantages: MDF/HDF is an engineered, machineable product with great structural integrity and high ecological compatibility. It offers some significant advantages, including superior dimensional stability and greater versatility in terms of shaping.
The key MDF benefit is a perfect correlation between thickness and hardness: the thickness could vary from 4 to 22 mm. Recently there appeared a lot of door frames with boxes and casings made of MDF, covered with high-cost species of wood. MDF surface is flat, smooth, homogeneous and dense, which greatly simplifies the handling of MDF boards.
MDF/HDF is widely used for the furniture, doors and laminated flooring production.
Particleboard is manufactured by hot compression of wood particles, mixed with binding agent and forming the mixture into a sheet. Particleboard raw material is any low-cost wood species, both softwood and hardwood. The use properties of particleboard mainly depend on density, shape and size of wood particles and also amount and quality of the binding agent.
There are particleboards of very low (350-450 kg/m³), low (450-650 kg/m³), average (650-750 kg/m³) and high (700-800 kg/m³) density with one, three and five layers.
It is not recommended to use particleboard for premises with high moisture.
Particleboard is a widely used material for the production of cabinet furniture, interior decorations, roof and partition constructions, etc.
Advantages: waterproof, strong, easy to handle. Particleboard tightly “holds” nails and screws, could be easily machined (cut, drilled, milled, etc.), glued and painted. One more particleboard benefit is a low price. That is why particleboard is the most widely used material for the fabrication of economy-class furniture: the majority of office furniture is made of particleboard.
With some of its physical-mechanical properties particleboard even surpasses natural wood: particleboard swells less than natural wood, is low-inflammable, does not warp and has thermal and soundproof properties. .
Disadvantages: formaldehyde resins, which bind wood particles.
Particleboard extract a certain amount of formaldehyde. Therefore, it is not the most useful product, which has to be changed.
There are two types of particleboard: Е1 and Е2.
E1 is ecologically clean product with low formaldehyde extraction. Е2 is prohibited to use for the production of furniture for children. The most ecologically clean particleboard is made in Austria and Germany.
Particleboard is also heavier and less stronger than natural wood.
Wood fiberboard is manufactured by hot compression of uniformly milled wood mixture, impregnated with synthetic resins, with the inclusion of certain additives to the mass. The raw material for wood fiberboard is pulverized wood chips. To improve the properties of fiberboard, paraffin wax, colophony (to increase waterproof property), synthetic resin (to increase the board strength), antiseptics are added to the wood mixture.
As MDF, woodfiber board is produced from compressed wood dust, but in the case of woodfiber board, wood particles are steamed, the board is made by wet pressing.
The woodfiber board types are as follows:
• extra-hard (density – 950 kg/m³);
• hard (850 кг/м³) and semi-hard (400 kg/m³);
• insulating-finishing (250 kg/m³);
• insulating (up to 250 kg/m³) .
Woodfiber board is very resistant to humidity drops. Back sides of the majority cabinets and cupboards as well as drawer bottoms are made of woodfiber board. (Plywood is used for production of the most expensive furniture instead of woodfiber board.)
Advantage: low price and high durability