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MDF, chipboard, plywood, or OSB what is what?

In recent years, more and more attention has been paid to wood in the construction industry. Given the concerns about sustainability and carbon footprint. Part of this interest in wood stems from its ability to regenerate, although this benefit depends on sustainable logging and proper forest management to allow for natural renewal of forests. However, the versatility of wood is the primary reason for its widespread use. From boards, joists and flooring to thermal and acoustic insulation panels and insulators, wood can be used at different stages of a single project and with different levels of processing and finishing.

In the manufacture of furniture, wall coverings, ceilings and even floors, the use of panels is an economical and functional way of using wood in buildings. In the following we present the most commonly used wood products and their properties and main areas of application:

MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard)
MDF panels are made of wood fibers bound by a synthetic resin and compacted with pressure and heat, resulting in a solid and very uniform panel of wood with a good finish and durability. Because the fibers are randomly oriented, the press can cut them in any direction, leaving the surface very smooth to the touch. Of course, the wood panel is not very waterproof, but there are alternatives on the wood market that are moisture and sometimes even more fire resistant.

MDF panels are currently the most commonly used material for carpentry work, as they are compatible with a wide range of finishes such as: B. with simple or lacquer colors, with glued natural or melamine panels or even with pattern printing. But they can also be used in other ways, e.g. B. for wall and door panels.

HDF (High Density Fiberboard) is very similar to MDF, although their manufacturing processes are different. Since these plates are pressed under higher pressure, they are more resistant and pressure-resistant.

Chipboard and MDP (Medium Density Particleboard)
Wood chipboard is made by compressing wood waste such as sawdust and dust with resin and glue. Over time, this building material has given way to other materials such as MDF. It can be finished with paints and varnishes, which rarely adhere, as the wood surface is not smooth and homogeneous. The main advantage of this material is its low price. The uses are similar to MDF.

Like chipboard, MDP boards are made of wood particles that are compressed with synthetic resin and pressed under heat, with the only difference being that the small particles are deposited on the top of the board and the larger particles are deposited in the core.

Chipboard is often used to make simple furniture. See IKEA ;-)

plywood
Plywood is made from overlapping sheets of veneer glued at right angles and hot pressed. The mutually transverse panels allow plywood a higher load capacity of the panel.
The possible uses of this laminated wood are very different. It can be used for furniture, floors, ceilings, doors and countertops, among other things.

OSB (Oriented Strand Board)
OSB panels have a very distinctive look, which is increasingly being incorporated into structural design. These wood chips are pressed together in vertical layers and bonded with resin under high pressure and heat. They have good mechanical strength and rigidity. In addition to their good sound insulation, they have no gaps, knots or cracks, so they are very homogeneous. They are also ecologically safe and durable against weather influences such as rain, moisture, wind and heat. In addition, the panels are fully recyclable. However, since they have a rough surface structure, it is not possible to apply laminated products to them.
OSB boards are mainly used for walls and ceilings, carpet flooring, wooden floors, bricks, paneling and building huts, packaging and furniture.

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