Particleboard is made of wood chips as opposed to the wood fibers which MDF is made of. Particleboard chips vary in size. Chips are sorted into sizes prior to the construction of the panel. Resins are added and blended into the chips making a perfect mixture for a high quality particleboard panel. The larger chips are intentionally placed in the middle of the panel and the smaller finer chips are placed on the outside surfaces of the panel. The finer chips make the particleboard surface smooth, uniform in appearance and more pleasing to the eye. The chips are then staged for pressing on a large steel mat. Extreme heat and pressure are applied to finish the bonding process. Trimming and sanding are the final processes prior to shipment.
Chip types vary from pine, fir, hardwood lumber and some recycled wood. Each type has advantages and disadvantages. Pine is lighter in color, easiest to machine, give you your best tool life but it costs the most. Fir is more rigid, less expensive but it's harder on blades and equipment. Most Particleboard we carry has a mix of different chip types to allow the benefits of both types.
Grading of particleboard generally refers to density. Commercial and industrial grades are the most commonly used. Commercial grade is a 42lbs board and industrial grade is a 45lbs board. There are industrial grades at 47lbs and 50lbs but are not commonly used. The pounds referred to the weight of a cubic foot of material. For example: If you were to cut up a sheet of ¾” material into one foot squares, it would take 16 pieces to equal one cubic foot (12” x 12” x 12”). If this cubic foot weighed 45lbs or greater, it would be considered industrial grade.
Particleboard machines well and can be laminated to with out telegraphing Particle board also has high internal bond, is cost effective and is available in many sizes and thicknesses.
Thickness available from the mill range from 3/8” to 1 ¼ “. However, our most common thickness are 1/2” 5/8” 3/4” and 1”
Sizes available from the mill are 4' and 5' wide. Some cut to size units are available for specific needs. However, our most common size is 49” x 97”