MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) wood is a composite material made from wood fibers bonded together by a synthetic resin under high pressure and temperature. It is used for the manufacture of furniture, doors, floors or decorative panels. Here is the ultimate guide to MDF: everything you need to know about this innovative material!
MDF, what is it?
MDF, or “medium density fiberboard” in English, is a material often used in carpentry and cabinetmaking. It is made of wood fibers compressed at high pressure and high temperature. This process results in a smooth, dense and homogeneous MDF board. The advantage is that unlike other types of wood, it contains no knots or grains, which makes it easy to work and paint. So if you want to get into carpentry or cabinetmaking and are looking for a material that is easy to work with, MDF could be your solution ;)
A material with many advantages
MDF is available in a wide variety of thicknesses, sizes and finishes for example, making it versatile and suitable for many many applications. It can be used to craft furniture, shelves, mouldings, doors, floors, and even toys.
MDF is also cheaper than solid wood and more durable than plywood, making it a popular choice for DIY and home improvement projects . It is also eco-friendly, as manufacturers make it from recycled wood fibers and sawmill residues. Not bad is not it ? Manufacturers can not only divide MDF into different colors, but also offer several types of MDF.
However, MDF also has some disadvantages. It is therefore less resistant to humidity than solid wood. If the material is exposed to water, it may warp or split. Also, because it is made from resin and glue, MDF can release toxic fumes (VOC) if poorly ventilated. You must therefore be careful not to expose it to a humid place. And check with professionals that the wood will not give off toxic fumes. It is therefore important to take proper precautions when handling MDF. Such as the use of a protective mask and adequate ventilation.
What are VOCs or chemicals?
VOCs are Volatile Organic Compounds, which are chemical substances present in certain products and materials such as paints, varnishes, glues, solvents, maintenance, flooring, furniture, etc. VOCs can evaporate at room temperature and end up in the indoor air of buildings, where they can cause health effects, such as eye and respiratory tract irritation, headache, nausea, dizziness and other symptoms. On the other hand, VOC emissions can also contribute to outdoor air pollution and smog formation. It is therefore recommended to use low VOC products and to ventilate interior spaces well to reduce exposure to VOCs.
How do I know if he's present?
There are several methods to determine if a material contains VOCs:
- Look for information on the packaging or product label. Manufacturers are often required to state the VOC content on the product label or packaging.
- Use VOC detection kits. There are kits available at specialty stores that can help identify the presence of VOCs in materials. These kits often use chemical tests to detect the presence of VOCs.
- Use a VOC detector. VOC detectors are electronic devices designed to measure the concentration of VOCs in the air. You can use a detector to measure the amount of VOCs emitted by a particular material.
There you go, now you know how to protect yourself against these toxic substances and how to choose the right material.
How do you define the durability of a material?
The durability of a material is the measure of its ability to resist wear, degradation and alteration over time. Several factors, including the chemical composition of the material, its mechanical and physical properties, its exposure to extreme environmental conditions, and its care and maintenance, influence how long it can be used effectively before needing be replaced or repaired. Durability can be assessed based on several criteria, such as:
- Corrosion resistance: the ability of a material to resist corrosion due to adverse environmental conditions, such as humidity, chemicals, salts and other contaminants.
- Resistance to wear: the ability of a material to resist wear due to regular use, friction, impact and other forms of mechanical stress.
- Dimensional stability: the ability of a material to maintain its initial dimensions and shapes under various environmental conditions, such as changes in temperature and humidity.
- UV Resistance: A material's ability to resist fading and degradation caused by the sun's UV rays.
- Break strength: the ability of a material to resist breaking under applied loads.
- The length of time a material can be used effectively before it needs to be replaced or repaired is measured to assess its useful life.
Sustainability has become a major concern in the design and construction of products and infrastructure. Therefore, by using sustainable materials, we can reduce the environmental impact of our activities. You can minimize maintenance costs and prolong the life of products and infrastructure.
Why use MDF?
Here are some reasons why one might choose to use MDF:
- Cost: MDF is less expensive than many other building materials, such as solid wood or plywood, making it an economical choice for construction and renovation projects.
- Ease of machining: MDF is an easy material to work with, so it is easily machined. It can be cut, drilled, countersunk, engraved, planed, sanded, painted and tinted to meet specific requirements.
- Uniformity: MDF is a homogeneous material, which means that it has a uniform density over its entire surface.
- Resistance to deformation: MDF does not deform easily under the effect of humidity or temperature variations.
- Environmental friendliness: Manufacturers produce MDF using recycled wood and other recycled materials. In addition, it can be recycled and reused in other construction projects
Versatility: A wide variety of applications including furniture, doors, mouldings, decorative panels, flooring and ceiling panels are covered by the use of MDF
In conclusion, MDF is a multipurpose material, economical and ecological. It is suitable for many applications in carpentry and cabinet making. However, it also has limitations in terms of water resistance and toxic emissions, which must be taken into account when using it.
How does Quark use MDF?
At Quark, we use Valchromat, an MDF made in Portugal. If you don't know what valchromat is here is a small definition:
Valchromat is a through-dyed wood fiber panel material. It offers an attractive alternative to traditional medium density fiberboard (MDF). Unlike MDF, Valchromat is made from wood fibers of different species. They are then bonded together with a water-resistant synthetic resin and dyed in the mass. This technique will make it possible to create a homogeneous and colored surface. The result is a high quality material that can be used for a wide variety of applications. Including furniture construction, flooring and wall panels.
A Chameleon Material
Valchromat is available in a wide variety of colors and textures. Making it a popular choice for interior design projects. It is also more water resistant than traditional MDF. This makes it suitable for applications in humid environments. Valchromat is also more resistant to wear and scratches. Which makes it suitable for use in high traffic areas.
In terms of sustainability, Valchromat is an environmentally friendly material. Because it's made from recycled wood and wood from responsibly managed sources. It is also recyclable and can be reused in other construction projects. Additionally, Valchromat is free of formaldehyde, making it a safer choice for interior applications.
Order Your Quark Sample Kit
If you want to get to know the material a little better and see the colors with your own eyes, it's possible! You can order your sample kit from Quark. You will then have the opportunity to see the colors, test the material, and therefore, to project yourself better! If you would like to order a sample kit of Valchromat, please visit our product page.
In summary, Valchromat is a through-dyed wood fiber panel material that offers many advantages. Especially in terms of water resistance, durability and design versatility. However, it is important to note that Valchromat is more expensive than MDF. It may also require special cutting tools due to its higher density.
There you go, valchromat has no more secrets for you ;). If you loved all the advantages of MDF and want to get some, do not hesitate to take a look at our site. Where a wide choice of colors awaits you!