What is the difference between chipboard, compact laminate, feelwood, laminate, melamine, MFC and MDF?
Check out this glossary of key terms in the wood industry
Chipboard – a type of low density paperboard of thickness 0.15 millimeter (0.006 inch) or more, made from reclaimed paper stock. They are made by adhering wood particles together with an adhesive, under heat and pressure. This creates a rigid board with a relatively smooth surface.
Compact laminate – also known as solid phenolic, is a paper fiber-based solid surface material that is warmer to the touch than typical acrylic or polyester materials.
It is constructed with layers of Kraft paper, dipped in resin and dried. These layers are then sandwiched between laminated top and bottom sheets, compressed and baked. A process called polymerisation melds them all together creating a solid- core panel that becomes an extra strong and durable laminate. Compact laminate is typically black or brown in colour. Some manufacturers offer a wider variety of core colours. Compact laminate edges can be machined to a smoothness exceeding that of solid surface material.
Feelwood – represents a synchronized texture in which the panel texture changes according to the wood grain, just like in real wood. EGGER is the first in the world to offer synchronised pore decors on a compact laminate.
The Feelwood decors use the latest technology to align grain pattern with the surface texture of the board. These woodgrain decors take a step closer to resembling real wood and create an even more authentic finish. The Feelwood range can offer benefits which are not available when using real wood. Panels can be replaced without the fear that they will not complement the remaining furniture or panelling. Feelwood is also of higher resistance and durability than real wood.
Laminate – is a decorative laminate based on curable resins. The laminate is constructed by fusing multiple layer and comprise of melamine resin impregenated decor paper and several phenolic resin impregenated core layers.
Melamine – is an engineered wood product which is then covered with a resin and paper finish that can be manufactured to embody a variety of colours and styles. Melamine is typically used for cabinetry in kitchens, bathrooms and other areas throughout the home.
MFC – stands for Melamine Faces Chipboards. Many office furnitures are manufactured with this material. There are a number of different levels of thicknesses, but generally the industry standard is 25mm thick.
It is made from resin coated particles of softwood. The particles are evenly spread over a flat plate and heat bonded together under high pressure. The melamine face refers to the decorative finish found on either side of the chipboard, which is often white in colour. Yet it also comes in a multitude of colours and different textured wood grains which range from sheen, Matt and gloss.
The quality of the chipboard primarily relies on the density of the board. Many domestic furniture uses low density board, which is light in weight, whereas many commercial grade furnitures are made of a dense board – as it stops flexing and bending. The finished chipboard is then cut to shape and size, edged with a banding machine to protect the edges. These panels can then be used to make furniture
MDF – known as medium density fiberboard. It is an engineered wood product made by breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into wood fibers, often in a defibrator. Applying high pressure and temperature, the woodfibers are then melded with a wax and a resin binder, and forming panels. It is generally denser than plywood. It is made up of separated fibres, but can be used as a building material similar in application to plywood. It is more durable and denser than particle board.
MDF is a very versatile building material that can be used in a variety of applications. This includes making cabinets and mouldings. MDF’s characteristics include being smooth and resistance to warping.
Decotec is a distributor of Egger wood products in Canada. We supply superior quality European decorative panels, specializing in textured, high gloss, and super matte surfaces. Decotec is committed to offer innovative products, and to form new trends in the design & woodworking industries.
If you have any questions or inquires, we will be happy to assist you.
We are located in the GTA.
Our address is:
975 Alness Street
Ontario, M3J 2J1