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Fiberboard is a type of engineered wood product that is made out of wood fibers. Types of fiberboard (in order of increasing density) include particle board, medium-density fiberboard, and hardboard. Fiberboard is sometimes used as a synonym for particle board, but particle board usually refers to low-density fiberboard. Plywood is not a type of fiberboard, as it is made of thin sheets of wood, not wood fibers or particles. Fiberboard, particularly medium-density fiberboard (MDF), is heavily used in the furniture industry. For pieces that will be visible, a veneer of wood is often glued onto fiberboard to give it the appearance of conventional wood.
Fiberboard is also used in the auto industry to create free-form shapes such as dashboards, rear parcel shelves, and inner door shells. These pieces are usually covered with a skin, foil, or fabric such as cloth, suede, leather, or polyvinyl chloride.
Urea-formaldehyde (UF) resins are dominantly used in the medium density fiberboard (MDF) industry because of their low cost and fast curing characteristics. However, pressures on the use of UF resins are mounting steadily due to potential problems associated with formaldehyde emission. On the other hand, phenol-formaldehyde (PF) resins are more durable and do not emit formaldehyde after cure. But the Industry has traditionally shied away from using PF resins due primarily to their higher cost and much slower curing rate than UF resins. However, the press times for PF-bonded fiberboard can be substantially reduced by manipulating the fiber mat temperatures, molecular weight distribution of PF resins and pressing parameters. As a result, the press times for PF-bonded fiberboard can be made comparable to those for UF-bonded fiberboard. Also, the resin content required for PF-bonded fiberboard is less than 5% to achieve a good board quickly. This is considerably lower than that required for UF-bonded fiberboard.
Certain types of fiberboard can be considered "green" building products. Consisting of bio-based, secondary raw materials (wood chip or sugarcane fibers) recovered from within 100 miles (160 km) of manufacturing facilities, the binding agent used in this type of fiberboard is an all-natural product, consisting of vegetable starch containing no added formaldehydes.
Fiberboard, classified by ASTM C208, Standard Specification for Cellulosic Fiber Insulating Board, has many benefits and is used in residential and commercial construction. Different uses and applications include:
- sound proofing/deadening,
- structural sheathing,
- low-slope roofing,
- sound deadening flooring underlayment,
High density coated wood fiber is an ideal cover board, and the industry apparently agrees. More than two billion square feet of this product have already been installed in the U.S. roofing market. In terms of cost and availability, wood fiber is hard to beat.
- ASTM C208 -95(2001) Standard Specification for Cellulosic Fiber Insulating Board
- "coverboards enhance roof system performance", RSI Direct 1 Nov, 2001, Russo, M.
- Soroka, W (2008). Illustrated Glossary of Packaging Terms. Institute of Packaging Professionals. p. 81. ISBN 1-930268-27-0.
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