MDF stands for medium density fiberboard is regarded to be a type of engineered wood product that is created from breaking down softwood or hardwood residuals into wood fibers, in defibrator, thereby combining it with resin binder and wax and forming panels, which is done by applying very pressure and high temperature. Generally, MDF is dense than plywood and created from separated fibers and used as building material that is much similar to being applications in plywood. Moreover, it is termed to be much dense and stronger than particle board. It has derived its name from distinction in fiberboard densities.
It was only during the early 1980’s that MDF began to be produced in large scale and presently, laminated MDF is regarded to be much popular material across the globe. The word ‘MDF’ over time is said to have become generic name for fiber board name of any type. Its density is typically about 500 kg/m3 (31 lbs/ft3) or 1000 kg/m3 (62 lbs/ft3). Range of classification and density as High or light density board is quite confusing and a misnomer. The board density, when evaluated with its relation to fiber density that goes into creating the panel is very much vital. Thick MDF panel having density of around 700 to 720 kg/m3 may be regarded as high density when softwood fiber panels are taken into consideration. But panel of similar density created from hard wood fibers on the other hand is not regarded in this manner. Evolution of different MDF types is driven by differing requirements for specific applications.
Basically, three different types of MDF exist that are often labeled by color like:
- The Fire Retardant MDF which is typically blue or red
- The moisture which is typically green.
Even though similar manufacturing procedure is utilized for making every fiberboard type, the MDF is said to come with typical density of about .022-.029 lbs/in3 or 600-800 kg/m³.
There are several benefits to be derived from MDF, which are as follows:
- It is considered to be a wonderful substrate, especially for veneers
- Several varieties are regarded to be less expensive when compared to most natural woods
- It is consistent in size and strength
- Isotropic (properties are similar in every direction due to the absence of grains). Hence, no tendency for splitting
- It is quite flexible and can be easily utilized for curved surfaces and walls
- Shapes excellently
- Easy to finish (paint)
- Has stable dimensions (does not contract or expand like wood)
MDF bought from Cworkshop often are utilized in school projects. The reason for this is its great flexibility and reasonable price. Moreover, it is also known to be used in the loudspeaker enclosure, just because of the increased weight along with rigidity found over normal plywood. From MDF it is also possible to create slatwall panels which can be utilized in shop fitting industry. A ‘premium’ MDF type is available in the market which features plenty of uniform density throughout panel thickness.