1 . What is MDF?
MDF is an engineered wood-based sheet material made by bonding together wood fibres with a synthetic resin adhesive. MDF is extremely versatile and can be machined and finished to a high standard. As a result, MDF has replaced solid timber as a low-cost alternative in a wide range of applications across industry.
The majority of MDF is mainly composed of softwood, although some brands may contain a higher percentage of temperate hardwood if this is locally available to a manufacturer. High levels of hardwood can be found in MDF board from outside the UK and Ireland.
2 . What is formaldehyde and where does it come from?
Formaldehyde is a simple but essential organic chemical that occurs naturally in most forms of life, including people, some foods we eat and trees. All products made from wood will therefore emit some naturally occuring formaldehyde.
3 . What precautions should be taken when working with MDF?
- Dust collection at the source
- Ventillation in the whole shop
- Use of a personal respirator
- Sealing the edges of the MDF with lacquer or paint to prevent hazardous fumes from escaping
- Wearing masks and gloves to avoid dust
- Keeping MDF furniture water-free
- Moving MDF furniture carefully
- Wearing eye protection when cutting or machining to protect eyes from MDF dust and flying particles