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How is Particle Board Made?

Michael Pollick
Updated May 17, 2024
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Particle board has been in use since the 1940s, often used in place of the more expensive plywood as subflooring or instead 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 shavings, chips and sawdust with a strong resin and pressing the mixture into serviceable boards and planks.

The process of making this material begins with real wood. Most manufacturers use waste wood products collected from commercial woodworking factories, although some virgin wood may be used as well. All of this recycled wood fiber and sawdust is stored in large containers before being processed into boards.

The wood bits are usually dried, then sorted to eliminate overly large or small pieces. Once this mechanical sorting has been completed, the acceptable wood fibers move by conveyor belt to a blending hopper. Along the way, several overhead nozzles spray the wood fibers with a strong liquid resin or glue. Several different forms of resin may be used, depending on the specific quality of particle board desired. Historically, formaldehyde-based resins were most common, although in recent years many manufacturers in the US have moved to low-emission resins or those that do not contain any formaldehyde.

The resin-soaked wood is then blended to form a consistent paste. This combination is piped into a forming machine, which presses out a sheet of uncured particle board. The formed panels are then pressed down for easier transportation to the final curing ovens. 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 particle board are left in this rough state for use in flooring and other projects in which the panels will not be visible. In situations in which the appearance of the product is a concern, thin strips of real wood, called veneers, may be added to the surface of the board. Furniture manufacturers often use veneer-covered particle board as a cheaper alternative to natural hardwoods. Many assemble-it-yourself desks and other home furnishings may also be made from veneered particle board.

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Michael Pollick
By Michael Pollick , Writer
As a frequent contributor to About Mechanics, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range of topics. His curiosity drives him to study subjects in-depth, resulting in informative and engaging articles. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Michael honed his skills as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

Discussion Comments

By anon256492 — On Mar 22, 2012

Do you have to press it down firmly? What with if you do?

By anon168244 — On Apr 16, 2011

anyone have info about raw board handling?

By spagarwal — On Mar 07, 2011

Please may i know how particle boards are made, and where to get machinery and the price for the machinery? what will be the financial outlay for a small scale particle board manufacturing?

By gtsk12 — On Mar 07, 2011

what are the starting processes for a plant project?

By anon150516 — On Feb 08, 2011

Sawdust is abundant in our state,so can you tell me the project cost for setting up a cottage industry and where to get the equipment in India, if possible.

By anon132724 — On Dec 08, 2010

Does anyone know the life span of these boards if they were stored in a proper storage area?

By anon130266 — On Nov 28, 2010

i want to know how particle board is made. i want to start a particle board manufacturing unit. i need to know all the processes, machinery and all details.

By anon106808 — On Aug 27, 2010

Please may i know how particle boards are made, and where to get machinery and the price for the machinery. I understand they are made from sawdust which is in abundance in my area.

By anon88633 — On Jun 06, 2010

i want to start a business in particle board so how much investment is there and where do i get a machine.

By anon73483 — On Mar 27, 2010

what will be the financial outlay for a small scale particle board manufacturing?

By anon59795 — On Jan 10, 2010

Pressure is about 300 bars.

By anon57446 — On Dec 23, 2009

impressed by your description of particle board making but where and how much will it cost to start on a small scale?

By anon44054 — On Sep 04, 2009

What is better? M.D.F. or particle board.

By anon35334 — On Jul 04, 2009

is it possible to produce particle board on a small scale

By anon14040 — On Jun 09, 2008

please help..really important where can i find a machine that can compress the wood chips?

By anon1785 — On Jun 15, 2007

1. do you think it is possible to produce particle board on a small scale?

2. Is a resin "cola"?

3. How much is the pressure on the board pressed?

Michael Pollick

Michael Pollick


As a frequent contributor to About Mechanics, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide...
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