Panels in the furniture industry

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Panels in the furniture industry

The panel allowed the industrialization in the field of furniture. In the past, furniture was made of solid wood. It is a noble, ecological material, but which has as default the fact that it is alive : Presence of defects, heterogeneous supply dimensions, dimensional variability, hygrometry variability, ….

To overcome this problem, and indeed, to make this material homogeneous and stable, by-products have been created :

  • Finger-joined wood
  • The paneling
  • OSB panels
  • Plywood
  • Chipboard
  • MDF

For the furniture industry, we will retain the last 3, which provide the most benefits and can be supplied in all countries.

These panels have :

  • Regular supply dimensions (standardization in panel dimensions)
  • A homogeneous quality

The plywood panel

The plywood is composed of several layers of veneers, called folds, in odd number. The adjacent layers are crossed, usually at right angles. The plywood panel will have very high strength and stability. Plywood can be water repellent for use in wetlands.

This can be used with noble wood outer layers or with a laminate.

Plywood can be supplied in a wide variety of sizes :

  • Thickness  : 16mm – 18mm – 19mm – 22mm (Usual thicknesses for furniture)
  • Width  : 1220mm – 1530mm
  • Lenght  : 2500mm – 3100mm

The chipboard panel

The chipboard is a panel made from wood particles, which will be consolidated with a binder. These panels are multi layer : The fine particles form the 2 outer layers, the coarse particles form the intermediate layer. These panels are the cheapest..

In the furniture industry, these panels are used coated with a decorative melamine surface. The choice of decors (colors, structures) is very wide. They may also be covered with a laminated surface.

The chipboard can be supplied in a wide variety of sizes :

  • Thickness : 16mm – 18mm – 19mm – 22mm (Usual thicknesses for furniture)
  • Width : 1300mm – 1850mm – 2070mm
  • Lenght : 2800mm – 3600mm – 5600mm

The MDF panel

MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) is a medium density fibreboard. This panel is made from wood fibers and a synthetic binder. It is versatile. One of the great qualities of this material is that it is almost isotropic, that is to say it has homogeneous physical properties in the three dimensions. Its fine texture facilitates its machining and the application of finishing products. Its price is between chipboard and plywood.

In furniture, MDF panels can be coated with melamine surfaces with a wide choice of decors.

The MDF panel can be supplied in a wide variety of sizes :

  • Thickness : 16mm – 18mm – 19mm – 22mm
  • Width : 1800mm – 2070mm
  • Lenght : 2800mm – 5600mm
Plywood Chipboard MDF
Density ++ ++ +++
Sawing +++ +++ +++
Machining + ++ +++
Edge banding ++ +++ +++
Boring +++ +++ +++
Finishing (varnish – laquer) ++ + +++
Film coating decor + +++ ++
Moisture resistance +++ + ++
Price + +++ ++
Supply +++ +++ +++
Dust +++ ++ +

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