MDF - Medium Density Fibreboard
MDF is a type of hardboard, which is made from wood fibres glued under heat and pressure.
Advantages: -There are a number of reasons why MDF may be used instead of plywood or chipboard. It is dense, flat, stiff, has no knots and is easily machined. Because it is made up of fine particles it does not have an easily recognisable surface grain. MDF can be painted to produce a smooth quality surface. Because MDF has no grain it can be cut, drilled, machined and filed without damaging the surface. MDF may be dowelled together and traditional woodwork joints may even be cut. MDF may be glued together with PVA wood glue. Oil, water-based paints and varnishes may be used on MDF. Veneers and laminates may also be used to finish MDF
Disadvantages: -MDF can be dangerous to use if the correct safety precautions are not taken. MDF contains a substance called urea formaldehyde, which may be released from the material through cutting and sanding. Urea formaldehyde may cause irritation to the eyes and lungs. Proper ventilation is required when using it and facemasks are needed when sanding or cutting MDF with machinery. The dust produced when machining MDF is very dangerous. Masks and goggles should always be worn at all times. Due to the fact that MDF contains a great deal of glue the cutting edges of your tools will blunt very quickly. MDF can be fixed together with screws and nails but the material may split if care is not taken. If you are screwing, the screws should not be any further than 25mm in from the edge. When using screws always use pilot holes. Urea formaldehyde is always being slowly released from the surface of MDF. When painting it is good idea to coat the whole of the product in order to seal in the urea formaldehyde. Wax and oil finishes may be used as finishes but they are less effective at sealing in the urea formaldehyde
The European Standard EN 622-1 specifies a thickness tolerance of ±0.2mm for boards up to 19mm thickness and ±0.3mm for thicker boards.
The European Standard EN 622-1 refers to Class E1 boards with a formaldehyde content not exceeding 8mg/100g and Class E2 boards with an upper limit of 30mg/100g.