How’s particle board made?

Print anything with Printful

Particleboard is a cheaper alternative to plywood and hardwoods in furniture manufacturing. It is made by combining wood chips, shavings, and sawdust with resin and pressing the mixture into boards. The wood fibers are mixed with resin, pressed into sheets, and cured in ovens. Veneers can be added for appearance.

Particleboard has been in use since the 1940s, often being used in place of more expensive plywood as underlayment or in place of natural hardwoods in furniture manufacturing. At one point in its history, however, this material was considered an expensive designer board, reserved for use in exclusive homes and upscale furniture factories. Modern particle board is now made primarily by combining discarded wood chips, shavings, and sawdust with a strong resin and pressing the mixture into useful boards and planks.

The process of making this material begins with real wood. Most manufacturers use waste wood products collected from commercial wood mills, although virgin wood can also be used. All this recycled wood fiber and sawdust is stored in large bins before being made into planks.

The pieces of wood are usually dried, then sorted to get rid of pieces that are too large or small. Once this mechanical sorting is complete, the acceptable wood fibers move via conveyor belt into a mixing hopper. Along the way, several overhead nozzles spray the wood fibers with a strong liquid resin or glue. Different forms of resin can be used, depending on the specific grade of particleboard desired. Historically, formaldehyde-based resins were the most common, although in recent years many manufacturers in the United States have switched to low-emission or formaldehyde-free resins.

The resin-soaked wood is then mixed to form a consistent paste. This combination is fed into a forming machine, which presses a sheet of uncured particle board. The formed panels are then pressed to facilitate transport to the final curing ovens. The individual sheets are held under pressure as the air around them is superheated. This allows the resin to harden and form a very strong bond with the wood fibers.

Some forms of chipboard are left in their raw state for use in flooring and other projects where the panels won’t be visible. In situations where the appearance of the product is an issue, thin strips of real wood, called veneers, can be added to the panel surface. Furniture makers often use veneered particle board as a cheaper alternative to natural hardwoods. Many DIY desks and other home furnishings can also be made from veneered chipboard.

Protect your devices with Threat Protection by NordVPN

Skip to content