What is MDF made of

Properties of MDF panels

Background knowledge of MDF panels

MDF boards were developed in the USA and found their way to Europe relatively late. On the other hand, interior design, furniture construction and many other projects cannot be imagined without them today. They are made on the basis of wood fibers, so they are a wood composite material. Overall, MDF panels consist of the following components:

  • Wood fiber
  • Glue or glue
  • different ingredients
  • water

Structure of MDF panels

The fibers of the wood are made so small that the grain cannot be uniform during the subsequent pressing. This means that the panels are neutral on all sides and are not subject to any grain direction. This allows the MDF panels to be processed with excellent abrasion. Even sawing out sharp profiles is no problem at all.

Differentiation of MDF according to the density

Due to the high density of MDF, edges and corners do not have to be specially reinforced or, as with other composite materials, rounded to prevent parts of the board from breaking off. The density also provides information about what type of MDF board it is:

  • Light MDF: less than or equal to 650 kg / sqm
  • Ultralight MDF: less than or equal to 550 kg / sqm
  • HDF: greater than or equal to 800 kg / sqm

However, these distinctions can no longer be found in the standardization (they were part of the DIN EN standardization).

Properties similar to those of wood

This means that the density of MDF can also be influenced and turn out very differently. In addition, MDF behaves like normal wood - it can store and release moisture. This means that use in outdoor areas or in wet rooms is only possible to a limited extent or requires specially processed MDF.

Limitations of MDF due to its properties

Plastering MDF panels, for example, is not only a problem because of the high density and thus the very smooth surface. At the same time, an MDF board would remove too much moisture too quickly from ordinary plaster.

Ingredients in the MDF

But that's not all. The chemical ingredients can lead to outgassing that discolor the plaster unevenly brown. In addition, release agent residues can remain on the surface of MDF boards due to the manufacturing process.

Manufacturing transparency

In general, when using MDF panels, you should only use products whose manufacturing process is absolutely transparent. This means that MDF panels from outside the European Union are almost completely eliminated. It could never be guaranteed that dangerous ingredients would not tend to outgass and evaporate.

Conclusion MDF panels: properties similar to wood, only better

The properties of MDF boards are therefore similar to those of conventional, normal wood. Only that the attributes of MDF by classes allow better machining and processing. We have summarized more about the processing of MDF boards for you here.