Initially, the idea of making wood-based materials results from the desire to recover sawdust (sawdust) and machining (chips), produced in large quantities in sawmills and industrial joineries. Rather than burning them, efforts have been made to reassemble them to form a kind of agglomerated synthetic wood, more economical than natural wood and with different qualities. The veneer, it is the origin of the manufacture of panels called "plywood", formed of several thin sheets of wood glued on top of each other.
Particleboard or fiberboard
Particleboard (or chipboard) consists of more or less fine chips, assembled by gluing and compression. This is the least noble derivative, but also the more economical. Heavier than other derivatives, it is also more flexible so less resistant to load and bending (to avoid, therefore, for fairly long shelves). It is suitable for all uses that do not require drilling or precise machining. The CTBS quality suitable for indoor use, the CTBH labeldesignating panels that can be used (moderately) outdoors. There are fireproof panels classified M1 (non-fire).
OSB or "thin oriented slat panel", consists of thin and long strips of resinous wood, assembled by gluing, to form a mattress of three layers, which gives it excellent mechanical qualities. Economical, OSB is widely used for constitute a floor or ensure the facing houses with wooden frame.
The medium (MDF) is an intermediate panel between particle board and fiber board. It is indeed an amalgam of very fine wood particles giving a panel sawing, piercing and molding as well as wood. Its resistance to bending is very good.
Fiberboard (hard or soft), because of their small thickness (3 mm) are mainly intended for the realization of vertical plans on wooden frame and in particular furniture background. Raw or lacquered, they nail, staple or screw on their supporting structure. Perforated panels are used forsoundproofing and to suspend tools.
Plywood and slatted
Multiply plywood is certainly the oldest of the wood derivatives: it results from the alternating bonding of thin sheets of wood - the folds -, always in odd number (3 to 9 in general). The glue of some resists water (CTBX) allowing use outdoors (or even in water).
Plywood is lighter, more flexible and more stable than natural wood. It saws well, but is more difficult to machine. Its thickness rarely exceeds 22 mm.
The slatted allows to obtain very rigid panels (if the slats are oriented in the direction of the length). It consists of small blocks of wood (the slats) sandwiched between two sheets of wood of the same type as those used to make the plywood or, recently, between sheets of MDF. Used for thicknesses greater than 22 mm, it has a better rigidity than the plywood and a perfect stability.
The presence of voids between the blocks makes sawing and machining sometimes delicate. The glued laminate, which is an alternative, is made of strips of wood glued together in parallel, resulting in exceptional resistance to bending. This type of product is widely used in construction, to obtain very large beam reaches.
Panels (such as ordinary wood) can be surface-plated with wood or with decorative materials. They can then substitute for any noble essence, for a much smaller blow.
Decorative veneer consists in sticking on the surface a thin layer of precious or decorative wood. The fashion of veneered furniture appeared in the 1930s. Many particle boards or plywood are plated in this way. There are strips of veneer to match the edges of the panels.
Laminate or melamine panels are dressed in a thin layer of plastic ensuring a protective and decorative coating, often imitating different materials including... wood. They are used to make shelves, table tops and various cabinets. They are offered with matching borders and chants.
(photos / visuals: © DIY-Prod, except special mention)
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