How is MDF made?

MDF or Medium Density Fiber


MDF or Medium Density Fiber is a board made of wood and other substances which is predominantly used for residential interiors. Due to its even structure across its volume, it provides with a very good medium for working specially in cases where the requirement is for use of depth like in cases of CNC cuttings. In addition, its smooth surface also makes it suitable for several finishes like PU, duco etc.

The above things are possible only because of how MDF is made. The process is divided into some fixed parts which we will discuss below:

Wood chipping:

During manufacture of furniture or many other wooden material, lot of wastage happens. There are also cases when trees are cut and there barks and other wooden parts are of no use. All these pieces are taken and passed through a chipping machine to make small chips of wood. These are the same chips used for making particle boards.

Washing of chips:

These chips are then washed with water added with some chemicals to remove impurities and to treat them as well.

Defibration process:

This is then carried out on the chips to squeeze out and the chips are made into a uniformly consistent material.

Drying of fibers:

These fibers are then kept in an oven to dry them completely and make them completely devoid of moisture. This is done to ensure that any issue of water related damage may not happen in the finished boards.

Mixing with adhesives and resins:

The dried fiber is then mixed with adhesives and resins to provide the required binding power. Some of low quality adhesives which may be used have formaldehyde which is not good for health. Its important to take MDF with proper certifications to ensure that this is not the case.


The fiber mixed with resins is then spread evenly on mats where it will be pressed into even boards. This process has to be done carefully to ensure even density of fiber in all areas to ensure no holes or gaps are left out later.

Precompression and hot pressing:

The mat is then rolled into a pre-compressor. This ensures that the hot press gets the mat in consistently even form with no undulations. This belt moves to a hot press which then seals the MDF into the form in which we receive it.

Cutting and Packing:

These continuously forming boards are then cut into the desired sizes and packed together for dispatch.

A general factory which manufactures MDF also manufactures particle board and is spread over at least few acres. Its important to note that many MDF units are also present inside small sheds which do a lot of work by hand or using smaller machines. These setups usually churn out very low quality MDF which can break by hand and may also contain more harmful resins and adhesives.

How MDF is made is a very synchronized and sequential process. Its not a technical or difficult process but does require extreme care to ensure even and good quality MDF.

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