Particle board--also called chip board and flake board--is an engineered wood product that is made by binding together wood chips or flakes with an adhesive binder under pressure. It is available in a variety of finishes, including plastic laminated veneers, patterned veneers, vinyl foil veneers and melamine-faced particle boards. Particle boards are used for interior decorative paneling, laminated veneers, shelving, stair treads, furniture, countertops, doors, floor decking, underlayment in recreational vehicles and mobile homes, roof sheathing and exterior siding.
Single-Layer Particle Board
Single-layer particle boards are made from pressing together wood particles of similar sizes to form a flat, dense board. This type of particle board is suitable as a base for plastic lamination and veneering, but not for painting. Single-layer particle boards are used commonly for interior applications. They have some water-resistance capabilities, but are not fully waterproof.
Three-Layer Particle Board
A three-layer particle board is made from sandwiching a layer of larger wood particles between two layers of high-density, finer wood particles. The outer layers have a higher amount of resin adhesive than the inner layer. Three-layer particle boards have smooth outer layers that are suitable for painting. These boards are not as dense as single-layer boards and tend to split easily.
Graded-Density Particle Boards
Graded-density particle boards are similar to three-layer particle boards. They have an inner core of coarse wood particles sandwiched between two outer layers of finer particles. However, unlike a three-layer particle board, the transition between the coarse surface to the finer ones is gradual. Graded-density particle boards are used in cabinet construction and for furniture components.
Cement-Bonded Particle Boards (CBPB)
Cement-bonded particle boards are manufactured with a magnesium-based cement or OPC (ordinary Portland cement) to form a board that has great fire- and sound-resistant properties. According to “Wood Production, Wood Technology, and Biotechnological Impacts,” they have higher moisture resistance than other types of particle boards and are used in the construction industry to form roofing and wall coverings in high-humidity areas. Cement-bonded particle boards have a high resistance to brown-rot and white-rot fungi. CBPB boards are versatile, durable and thick and can be used in rough external conditions.
- United States Department of Agriculture: Wood Particleboard and Flakeboard
- “Concise Encyclopedia of Composite Materials”; Andreas Mortensen; 2007
- “Wood Production, Wood Technology, and Biotechnological Impacts”; Ursula Kües; 2007
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