There are different types of artificial wood available in the market like plywood, block board, MDF, particle board, hardboard etc. All manufacturers sell their products and recommend their use for all purpose universally irrespective of their different properties and methods of manufacturing.
Particle board is a relatively new engineered wood product made from wood waste such as wood chips, sawdust and wood shavings. Its use in home and office furniture is increasing rapidly due to its easy availability and low costs. Before buying particle board, a homeowner must be aware of particle board properties like weight, density, durability, strength, etc.
Here we give brief information on particle board properties:
01. Weight and Density:
As it is composed of wood chips, wood shavings and sawdust which are waste materials and have very less weight, particle boards are also light in weight as compared to medium density fiberboard or plywood. Due to its lightweight nature, they are easy to transport and handle. Although they are light in weight, their density is more than natural wood and plywood. Medium density fiberboards and high density fiberboards are denser than particle boards.
Particle boards have low strength as they are made from weak materials like wood chips and sawdust. They cannot withstand heavy loads and are used when load application is less.
03. Resistance to Moisture:
One of the most concerned properties of particle board is that it has low resistance to moisture. In the presence of moisture, the boards experience swelling and development of cracks may occur. Also, on exposure to moisture, particle board gets discoloured.
04. Resistance to Warping:
Particle boards have low resistance to warping, but coating it with primer or painting the particle board, can improve its resistance. The coating also helps in increasing its strength up to some extent.
As it has low strength, particle boards are less durable as compared to plywood or solid wood. They last 3-5 years, but with proper care they have a durability of few more years. The durability can be increased by covering the surface with laminates or wood veneer. Laminated particle board and veneered particle board have useful life of 10-15 years.
Particle boards have good sound insulation properties; thus they are used in partition walls and ceilings of recording studios and concert halls.
07. Fire Resistance:
Particle board can be made fire resistant by attaching a layer of melamine on the top surface. Melamine particle boards are mostly used in manufacturing of industrial furniture.
Particle boards are eco-friendly materials as they are manufactured from recycled materials and waste such as wood chips, wood shavings, sawdust, etc. Thus, it helps in environmental conservation to some extent.