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What is Fibreboard?

By B. Turner
Updated May 17, 2024
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Fibreboard is a composite wood product sold in large, thin sheets. It is considered a type of hardboard, which means it is not true lumber and has no grain patterns. It is similar to other composite wood products like plywood and particleboard, but offers a higher level of density and strength, along with numerous other advantages.

This material is made from a variety of different wood products and recycled materials. It is commonly made from softwoods like pine, but may also include wood scraps, sawdust, cardboard, and paper. These materials are shredded or chipped to form small, workable pieces, then are placed into a piece of equipment known as a defibrator. The defibrator produces a high level of heat and pressure to turn the wood scraps into fine fibers. The fibers are then mixed with wax and resin and pressed into sheets to make fibreboard.

Fibreboard is often used to make furniture or cabinets. It is an excellent material for veneering, but also has a smooth surface that holds paint well. Some homeowners may use fibreboard panels in the home in place of drywall, or in any other application that calls for a hardboard wood product. This material is not recommended for use in exterior applications because it is vulnerable to moisture and humidity.

Builders will find several different varieties to choose from. This product is available in low, medium, or high density varieties, though medium-density fibreboard (MDF) is the most widely used. Low-density fibreboard (LDF) is used in applications where weight is an issue, while high-density versions offer enhanced strength and durability. Some units may be green in color, which indicates that they have been treated to resist moisture and mildew. Others are red or pink, which means they are designed to withstand fire and high-temperatures.

The primary benefit to this product is its smooth and consistent finish. Unlike plywood, fibreboard does not have a visible texture that can show through paint. It is also flexible, allowing it to be bent to create curves and other unique shapes and objects. Because it is made from wood scraps and recycled materials, fibreboard is also considered to be a green or eco-friendly material.

Fibreboard also has a number of potential drawbacks that should be considered. It is much denser and heavier than other composite sheet lumber, which could pose a problem in terms of weight. It is also highly susceptible to water and moisture penetration, which can cause it to swell or warp. Some fibreboard is joined using resins that contain urea-formaldehydes (UFs). These UF gases escape into the air over time and can cause poor air quality within the home.

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Discussion Comments
By anon158323 — On Mar 06, 2011

can fibreboard make inner sole slippers?

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