MDF stands for Medium Density Fiberboard and is created by breaking down soft woods into fibers and mixing the fibers with wax and resin. The panels are formed by pressing the mixture into panels with pressure and temperature. Its smooth surface texture and lack of internal grain structure it can be machined in all directions.

MDFThis material can be used as a building material, door panel or trim moulding. Large-scale production began in the 1980s and is now made in many different types, including moisture resistantfire retardantlow densityinsect and fungi resistant,exterior grade and molded. Lighter densities of fiberboard are commonly marketed as ultralight or LDF (low density fiberboard).

You probably have this material in your home right now and may not even know it. Its easy to work with, pliable and can be made into a zillion things.
MDFIt’s an extremely versatile material and is perfect for a whole host of remodeling applications;

* Cabinet doors and drawer fronts
* Furniture
* Internal cabinet boxes
* Display cabinets
* Exhibitions
* Lettering & Logos
* Exterior signage
* Exterior cladding
* Boxes and casework

It’s often used in school projects because of its flexibility and in speaker enclosures, because of its weight and rigidity over normal plywood.

Pros & Cons of Medium Density Fiberboard

MDF• Shapes well, is flexible for curved walls and surfaces
• Excellent substrate for veneers
• Becoming environmentally friendly
• Some varieties are less expensive than many natural woods
• Isotropic (no grain), cuts well
• Consistent in strength and size

MDF• Dulls blades more quickly than many woods
• Screwing into the edge of a board may cause it to split
• Heavier than plywood or chipboard
• Swells and breaks when waterlogged
• May warp or expand if not sealed
• Contains formaldehyde


Formaldehyde resins are commonly used to bind MDF together, and testing has consistently revealed that these products emit formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds that pose health risks at sufficient concentrations, for at least several months after manufacture.

Whether these chronic emissions reach harmful levels in real-world environments is not yet fully determined. As manufacturers are being pressured to come up with greener products, they have started testing and using non-toxic binders. New raw materials are also being introduced. Straw and bamboo are becoming popular fibers because they are a fast growing renewable resource.

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Updated: December 10, 2013 — 10:10 pm

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