The concept of plywood, although widespread, is quite confusing. This is due to the fact that there are different types of wood or panels that are obtained by pressing the wood and that, depending on the process and the raw material used, have very different characteristics and uses.
The acceptance of this type of material is high, due to the excellent relationship between the price of pressed wood and its functionality. They are a type of raw material that allows you to reuse or recycle the wood, and make the most of the tree by reducing the amount of discarded wood.
There are basically three types of chipboard:
DM or MDF
The DM (medium density) or MDF (medium density fiberboard) boards They are made of a combination of wood fibers, resins and adhesives to which pressure is applied. Among the types of pressed wood, it is the one that uses the smallest wood particles, in fact, the natural wood used breaks down to such an extent that what remains is small threads.
One of the most relevant characteristics of MDF is that it offers a really smooth surface, ideal for the application of all types of finishes, mainly lacquered.
Forms. Manufacture of interior furniture, frames, coverings …
The chipboard, which to a greater extent are identified with the name of pressed wood. They are made of chopped wood, where the chips are a few millimeters in size.
They are sold mainly coated with melamine. They are the cheapest option for chipboard and perhaps the most used material today for making furniture.
Forms. Manufacture of interior furniture (kitchen modulation, cabinets and shelves, tables …) and interior finishes.
OSB or oriented chip board
For the OSB Wood chips of several centimeters are used to create different layers that are later pressed in combination with resins and adhesives. In each of these layers the chips are placed in the same direction and then the directions of each layer are alternated, achieving stability and structural strength similar to those of a plywood board and, of course, far above other types of chipboard.
Forms: Furniture, structural uses, panels …
Other types of chipboard
It can be considered that there are other types of compressed wood. However, we believe it is a very fine spin, as these other grades are basically improvements or variations on the types of chipboard discussed above.
For example fiber boards illuminated using polymers or resins, high or low density fiber boards instead of medium ones, others with water-repellent or fire-retardant properties, or even non-oriented chipboards (waferboard).
Particleboard and moisture
Moisture is the greatest enemy of this type of wood. Although the wood expands and contracts naturally when varying the degree of humidity or when it comes in contact with water, with pressed wood there are limitations to this movement.
Under normal conditions and indoors, these environmental changes are small and the cardboard behaves properly. However, when fluctuations in the humidity level are large, or when they get wet and water penetrates the interior of the wood, these boards swell and often do not return to the initial state, although the effects can be minimized.
Therefore, manufacturers recommend its use indoors, and never in direct contact with water.