How is wood-based material manufactured

The most important wood-based materials at a glance

Wood is a wonderful material. But not all wood is the same. Different processing methods ultimately result in different products. With very special properties and at the respective price conditions. We explain the most common wood materials to you.


Good to know:

Solid wood does not necessarily mean made of one piece. According to material science, glued wooden strips also count as solid wood.

Solid wood

Wood in its original form. Whether as a board, piece of furniture or plank floor. Which type of wood you choose is of course up to your taste. In addition to their color, the tree species also differ in their hardness and thus resistance. Not all types of wood are suitable for outdoor use, for example (beech or spruce are very sensitive to the weather), others are very exclusive and correspondingly expensive, such as cherry, walnut or the tropical wood mahogany.

Solid wood can be processed in many variations. Just think of carvings, decorations or turning work. Solid wood indoors can have a positive effect on our health, provided it has not been chemically treated and has only been processed with natural oil or wax.


Tip:

Glue is used for all glued wood-based materials - under certain circumstances this can be harmful to health. When buying, look for the corresponding seal of approval or ask the specialist advisors!

Plywood

The difference between glued solid wood and veneer wood ultimately lies in the thickness of the wood layers processed. A single layer of veneer is only a few millimeters thick. The best-known veneer wood is (veneer) plywood, in which the respective layers are glued crosswise. With laminated veneer lumber, the layers are glued parallel along the grain, which means that the strength is strongly direction-dependent.

Veneer wood has the advantage that it comes very close to solid wood in terms of appearance and feel, but is more cost-effective due to the processing. Thanks to this (pre) processing, the material can be further processed very easily. This is of particular benefit to furniture and interior design. Special presses can also bring the veneer into the desired shape right away.


Chipboard

Of all wood-based materials, they are now the most common. Basically, this invention is entirely in the spirit of sustainability - because while only about 40 percent of a felled tree was recycled at the beginning of the 20th century, tree recycling is now 80 percent thanks to chipboard, which consists primarily of wood waste. The two outer layers can be covered with a thin veneer for reasons of visual appearance, which ultimately allows a large number of possible variations. So it's no wonder that most of our interior is made of this material. Due to the reversed fiber direction, chipboard can be processed lengthways and widthways - this is a pleasure for the industry. However, in contrast to solid wood, the basic strength is also lower, which affects longevity.


Coarse chipboard (OSB)

As the name suggests, coarse chips are glued together to form panels with this material. This gives the wooden panels their very own look - especially since their outer layers are not covered with a special veneer. Thanks to the coarse chips, the flexural strength of OSB panels is also significantly higher than that of conventional pressboard. Coarse chipboard is now being used more and more frequently in furniture construction, but OSB is also well suited as an extravagant floor covering.


Fibreboard (including MDF)

In addition to wood waste, wood fiber boards are also made from wood fiber-containing plants such as flax or rapeseed. There are two manufacturing processes, one dry and one wet. The best-known fiberboard is the so-called medium-density fiberboard - MDF for short, which is manufactured using the dry process. In contrast to chipboard, fiberboard impresses with its more homogeneous appearance, higher strength and better surface properties. In addition to medium-density fibreboard, there is also ultra-light fibreboard (ULDF) and high-density fibreboard (HDF).