Particleboard is a wood-based product used as asubstrate for bench tops and carcasses of kitchen cabinets. It may be used in door construction,although medium-density fibreboard (MDF) ismore generally used. Particleboard is made fromsmall chips or particles of softwood, which arecombined with a synthetic resin and bonded byapplying pressure and heat.Particleboard is lighter than MDF, yet is strongand stable. It is manufactured with three layers:the two outer layers are made up of fine particleswhile the inner core of the board is formed fromlarger chips of wood. This produces a fine outersurface for sanding and gluing, with a strong,stable inner core for screwing and fixing.High-moisture-resistant (HMR) particleboardis formed in the same manner, but the bondingagent is a special moisture-resistant resin.It is not waterproof but will repel moisture,making it an excellent choice in the constructionof kitchen cabinetry.
Particleboard and HMR particleboard are usually supplied with a melamine coating to bothsides. Without this coating the board may be usedas a substrate for high pressure laminate. It isunusual to use this product in its raw state as thesurface is not completely smooth and is does nottake a paint finish well.
Medium-density Fibreboard (MDF) is a wood-based product. It is produced by combining finetimber fibres with resin. Heat and pressure are thenapplied to produce a smooth board. It is a verydense product with excellent strength and ability tohold fixings. Moisture-resistant MDF (MRMDF) is amoisture-resistant MDF that may or may not have agreen hue to the board.MDF is used as a substrate in the manufacture ofcupboard doors and may have a melamine, timberveneer, vinyl or painted finish. It is also used whena routed pattern is required on a cupboard door ora curved edge is desired that can then be paintedto match the required colour.