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What MDF Do We Use?

Published : 19/09/2016 16:26:26
Categories : Product Information

Although the UK’s exit from the EU may see a return to British Standards, currently all MDF produced in the UK and Europe has to meet a set of EN (European Norm) standards to ensure quality and consistency levels remain high.

 

All of the MDF we use is industrial grade moisture resistant (MR) MDF. This is the perfect material for moulding skirting boards and architraves as it has an overall density that is around 15% greater than standard grade MDF. The moisture resistant properties of the board mean it is well suited to any interior space.

The density of the moisture resistant MDF that we use is between 760-770 kg/m², with the density of standard grade MDF being around 650 kg/m² and lightweight MDF being around 600 kg/m².

MDF density is an important property to consider when manufacturing MDF mouldings for 2 main reasons:

  1.        FURRING. As the MDF is passed through the moulding machine, the moulding is created by cutting away material to form the required design. This removes the smooth external layer along the detail and exposes the core of the MDF sheet. On a standard grade board, because the density is lower, the core is softer and can become furry. If this happens the board needs aggressive sanding to remove the loose fibres and re-seal the MDF prior to painting. If this is not done, the fibres will get trapped in the base coat of primer and leave a rough finish.

 

  1.        POROUS CORE. In lower density MDF, the core is very porous. This means that when primer is applied, instead of settling on top of the MDF it soaks into the core. This means it needs multiple coasts of primer before it is ready to be finished, which increases production time and adds significantly to the overall cost as so much more paint is required. Having the higher density MR MDF means the core is more stable so this problem is avoided.

 

For those who are familiar with such things, the specification sheet for our MDF is below. For those who are not so familiar, please read on further for a detailed examination of the key information you need to know when comparing MDF products.

MDF specification sheet

Kronospan is the manufacturer of the MDF that we use, so the column on the far right demonstrates how this material stacks up against the EN specification (2nd right).

 

Terms Explained

  •          Internal Bond. In the context of MDF skirting boards and architrave, the internal bond of the MDF isn’t massively relevant. The only time you would take this measure into consideration is when comparing different MDF specifications. The internal bond is a measure of how the MDF material performs in a stress test, and the resulting figure details how much force the board can endure before breaking. This is not the same as a test of elasticity.
  •          Swelling in Thickness, 24hr. This shows how the overall thickness of the MDF changes in a regular dry atmosphere after a 24-hour period within that environment. The MDF we use has a maximum swelling of 8% or 1.5mm, which is both minimal and 33% less than a standard grade MDF, which has a max swelling of 12%.
  •          Bending Strength/MOE (measure of elasticity). For both of these, the MDF sheets are tested by having several sheets stacked upon each other and force applied to the centre to find the point at which the material breaks. Skirting and architrave obviously aren’t load bearing products, so again this measure doesn’t apply here. It is useful when comparing specifications however. It is important to note that this does not mean the MDF we use is flexible enough to be bent around curved walls or bay windows.
  •          Internal Bond after Cyclic/Thickness Swell After Cyclic. This is a test carried out on all moisture resistant boards to see how they react to a humid environment. The boards are conditioned and then exposed to humidity for a period of time and the changes in the board are measured. The most relevant stat here is that the swelling of the board after the cyclic test is a maximum of 15%, or 2.7mm on an 18mm MDF board.

 

If you need any more information about anything related to our product or service, please contact our customer service team on the live chat, by email to enquiries@skirting4u.co.uk or give us a call on 01922 451 689.

About the Author

Kieron Miller is the Managing Director of Skirting 4 U and has been working in the skirting board and online retail industry since 2012. Kieron has been using his extensive product knowledge and problem-solving experience to help both trade and private consumers all over the country find the perfect skirting board products for their projects. He continues to innovate new solutions and product ideas as the market continues to grow.

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