You can use MDF outside, but it is not a good idea because it is not waterproof and will deteriorate over time. If you apply paint then it can stand the outdoor elements better and last longer. Also there is an exterior grade which is resistant to water, mold, fungus, and insects.
MDF is not recommended for outside use and construction. It is extremely hard so hammer cannot be used as nails may bend. The finest dust particles are harmful which needs special care while cutting.
If consistently exposed to water and dump condition MDF is bound to swell and ultimately crumble. As it cannot be exposed to water, it is not recommended for outside use. These cannot be stained as it will soak up the stain.
Some MDF products are moisture resistant that can be used in humid areas, but none of the MDF are waterproof.
Some MDF are engineered for greater density and strength for outdoor use. They are moisture and termite resistant and offer uniform thickness and homogenous structure. These exterior grade MDF are termite and fungus resistant as well.
MDF can rarely lasts in harsh condition thus not suggested to use for outdoor framing or construction. Even MDF outdoor furniture material cannot be recommended for out door construction.
For moderate humidity areas water resistant MDF can be used for outside furniture. However, it is to be kept in mind that MDF can be water resistant but never waterproof thus use for outside construction is not recommended.
Water resistant thick paint can be applied on MDF for making outside furniture durable. Though it is not permanent as far as outside construction is concerned. In present days due to many new techniques and innovations exterior MDF are becoming more durable than usual.
Medium density Fibreboard popularly known as MDF is made from wood fibres obtained from the residuals of hardwood and softwood.
This is an engineered wood product made by combining wax and resin binder with hardwood and softwood residuals and forming it into panels by putting in higher pressure and temperature. In most cases normally MDF is much more dense as compared to plywood, which are capable of being used as a building material like that of plywood.
MDF is however much more stronger in comparison to particle board and are made up of separate fibres. The strength, affordability, durability and consistency makes MDF a versatile building product. The use of MDF is quite common in homes and professional projects.
MDF is mainly known to be used for household or professional furniture making. The use of MDF for designing kitchen cabinets or in bathroom environment is also much common. It has been successfully used as an exterior cladding for housing. Several interior designing for homes as well as office has been made possible by MDF. Decorative household projects as well as flooring of office, hotels as well as houses also requires MDF.
There are several advantages of MDF for which it has gained popularity. The consistency, strength and durability give it an extra point. Moreover, MDF are more cost effective than wood or plywood. As it is made of residuals it is consistent and doesn’t have voids or splinters.
The smooth surface of MDF makes it perfect for painting and thus it is a choice for many when it comes to construction or interior designing. It is a first preference for designers and carpenters as it can be cut easily without splintering, burning or tearing out. It is also preferred for household kitchen, bathroom and professional spaces as several spacious and modular designs can be done in less time compared to wood.
They are a composite wood product made from the residues you obtain from softwood and hardwood and then residues are glued together with resin and wax under very high pressure to form the medium-density fibreboards.
Types of Medium Density fibreboards
There are different types of medium-density boards. Mostly they are labeled by colors. The main types of MDF boards include;
● Typically green – they are characterized by being moisture resistant.
● Ultra-light medium density fibreboard plate.
● Typically blue or red medium density fiber- these boards are characterized by being fire retardant.
Uses of the medium density fibreboard
● The MDF can be used to make various furniture like bookshelves and other furniture.
● It is known for making home cabinetry systems and other home interior commodities such as shelving units.
● These boards are used when dealing with large amounts of moistures, as they are water-resistant.
● Their ability to reduce the traveling of sound makes them essential in making various speakers.
● For the roofing works, medium density fiber is usually helpful for back shingles for any roof.
Properties of medium-density boards
The properties of medium density boards are either thermally or physically. The properties of these boards analyzed are; water absorption, thickness, the modulus of elasticity, and the modulus of rupture.
In addition, the researchers also analyzed the internal bond strength of the panels. The reason for exploring these properties is that different qualities of resin are needed for the other attributes of the medium density required.
The manufacturing process of medium density fibreboard
Over the past years, the method of manufacturing the medium-density fibreboard has changed. With the advanced technology, the quality of the product has improved, and the process takes less time for production. It’s a profitable business you can try venturing. The method of producing medium-density fibreboard involves the following steps;
The step of the wood preparation involves selecting and refining the wood residues or raw materials. You can collect these materials, i.e., shavings and chippings, from the Sawmills and plywood plants. In case you find softwoods like eucalyptus, you should debark these materials.
The debarking process will lessen the grit and organic wastes. In addition, it will increase the more refined finishing. You can opt to chop or re-chop the softwood if you need. For this process of chopping, you can use a chopper.
2. Wood preparation
Metals impurities are removed from the raw material you have collected. These impurities are removed using a special magnet. These materials are then separated into small pitches and large lobes. You can opt to use a magnetic detector to separate the materials that are remaining. After removing the metal impurities, the fiber you select will then be sent for pressing. You can use a side or plug screw feeder for this process. The vital task you need to achieve is to remove water from these materials. In addition, you can tear these materials using a refiner into usable fibers. Lastly, large motors are used to remove any foreign object.
3. Pressing and curing
You should add resin before refinement to reduce the formaldehyde tolerance. After the refinement process, you can now add a catalyst. The required amount of patience will determine the amount of resin you need to add. After which, you need to produce a mat that has a uniform thickness.
To make this uniform thickness, you need to use a scalping roll. After which, the process of compressing is done in various steps. Then the products are cut before they proceed to the final stages of processing. Before the cooling process, the result fibreboard is cut.
4. Panel sanding
To get a smooth finishing of the final panel, you need to sand panel these products. You can opt to use belts for this sanding. Furthermore, different ceramic abrasives like aluminum oxide and zirconium are also used during this process.
In addition, it is advisable to use silicon carbide when you feel you need a more refined surface. Most people opt to perform double-sided grading on these products to improve consistency. We use anti-static technology to remove any excess dust that comes with static electricity during the manufacturing process.
Cutting is the very first step in the finishing of the products. The medium-density fiber finishing varies depending on the quality that is being demanded. You can also consider the wood grain verities and color verities when finishing the product.
Different cuttings are used for the different sizes of fibreboards you want to use. For example, you can use special machines for cutting narrow strips, die-cutting for the small size. In addition, for the larger cuttings, you need to use guillotine cutting.
After cutting, the next step is laminating. During lamination, the fibreboards are sent in between two rolls. Then when the boards are between the rolls, you will apply the adhesives.
The application of a sealant will be necessary to ensure the fibreboard will be adhesive-coated. Then you can use the laminating machine to apply for final foil or the coating vinyl.
Precaution is taken when processing these fibreboards
● The individuals working in the medium-density fibreboard industries should have masks and gloves. The fibreboard production comes with a lot of dust; thus, this protective clothing will help keep off the dust.
● After the processing of the products, i.e., the fibreboards should be kept free from water which makes boards spoil quickly.
Assuming all the necessary procedures and precautions are taken, and a good quality medium fibreboard is produced. It is best to use medium-density over the other woods because it has several financial and physical benefits to the users. Thus, produce high-quality wood products.
MDF can be used outside, but keep in mind is that it is better used interior if you want it to last a prolonged period.