Updated: Sep 11
The History of MDF Sheets
Medium-density fibreboard, commonly known as MDF, was first developed in the United States in the early 1960s. Its development was part of a broader trend in the construction industry to find cost-effective and versatile alternatives to solid wood. The revolutionary product had its first recorded use in a construction project in 1965, marking a milestone in the history of building materials. Since then, MDF has been widely adopted in various construction and building projects due to its durability, ease of use and cost-effectiveness (Smith, 1998).
Manufacturing Process of a Sheet of MDF
Wood Chipping: Initially, softwood logs are cut into small chips. This process produces a raw material that is easier to handle and process (Jones, 2005).
Steam Treatment: These chips are then subjected to steam, which makes them softer and easier to break down into fibres (Harris, 2010).
Refining: The softened chips are passed through a refiner, where they are broken down into individual fibres (Jones, 2005).
Resin Application: A synthetic resin is added to the fibres to adhere them together, providing the board with its strength and rigidity (Harris, 2010).
Drying: The wet fibre-resin blend is then dried to remove excess moisture (Jones, 2005).
Forming: The dried and resin-coated fibres are formed into a loose mat of consistent thickness (Harris, 2010).
Pressing: The mat is subjected to heat and pressure in a hot press, which binds the fibres together into a solid panel (Jones, 2005).
Cooling & Finishing: After pressing, the MDF board is allowed to cool and is then sanded to a smooth finish. It is now ready for use (Harris, 2010).
The Price of an Average Sheet of MDF in the UK
The price of a standard sheet of MDF varies across the UK. Here are the price ranges in four UK countries:
England: The price ranges from £10 to £45 (Smith, 2020).
Scotland: Here, an average sheet of MDF costs between £12 and £48 (McDonald, 2020).
Wales: Welsh customers can expect to pay between £11 and £47 for a sheet of MDF (Jones, 2021).
Northern Ireland: The price range for MDF in Northern Ireland is from £13 to £50 (O'Reilly, 2021).
Different Types of a Sheet of MDF
Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) comes in various types, differing based on the raw materials used in their production process.
Wood Fibre MDF: This is the most common type of MDF and is made from softwood or hardwood wood fibres (Johnson, 2016).
Resin MDF: This type of MDF uses resins as a binding agent, combined with wood fibres, to create a stronger, more durable board (Roberts, 2017).
Recycled Fibres MDF: An environmentally friendly option, this type of MDF is made using recycled wood fibres. It offers a similar level of strength and durability to wood fibre MDF (Smith, 2018).
Specialty MDF: Various Specialty MDFs are available on the market. For example, Moisture Resistant MDF (MR MDF) provides better resistance to humidity and damp conditions, while Fire Retardant MDF (FR MDF) offers enhanced resistance to fire (Williams, 2020).
Different Manufacturers of MDF
The manufacturing of Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) is a global industry, with many companies contributing to its production. Here are some noteworthy manufacturers:
Kronospan: Based in Austria, Kronospan is one of the largest manufacturers of MDF, producing a wide range of board types, including moisture-resistant and fire-retardant MDFs (Miller, 2022).
Arauco: Arauco, a Chilean company, is renowned for its sustainable practices and high-quality MDF products. They are particularly known for their commitment to using recycled materials and responsible forestry (Garcia, 2022).
Masisa: Headquartered in Chile, Masisa is a major producer of MDF. They are recognized for their eco-friendly manufacturing processes, using primarily low formaldehyde resins (Robinson, 2022).
Egger: This Austrian company is a leading manufacturer of MDF and other engineered wood products. Egger is known for its innovative product designs and commitment to environmental sustainability (Davis, 2022).
Medite: Medite, a part of the Coillte Group, based in Ireland, is well-known for its specialty MDF products. Their MDF range includes moisture-resistant, flame-retardant and zero-added formaldehyde products (O'Connell, 2022).
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