MDF Manufacturing Process
Now ,almost every factory use fully integrated state-of-the-art computerized plant to produce the MDF. These plants have a complete setup for making the MDF board right from the initial step to guaranteeing that the quality is not bargained at any stride.
Debarking and chipping
The first step in the manufacturing of MDF board is Debarking. The bark of the soft wood of eucalyptus can be used as it is but to get the better quality of the final product the bark from the log is removed. This decreases grit and organic waste. It also allows faster drainage of the water and helps in finer surface finish.
Once the bark is removed the log is then stripped. The chipper drum reduces the logs into evenly shaped chips. The resulting chips, if they are too large, may be re-chipped and the undersized chips are used for another purpose.
The chips are then washed to check for the defects. The process also removes bits of bark, dirt, dust and so on.
Before the defibration process, the chips are coated with molten paraffin wax. This glues the chips together. The glued chips are then dried by transporting through hot air dryer. This takes out the defective fibers.
The chips are then fed into the defibrator for few minutes under high temperature while they are ground to form a pulp. From the defibrator, the pulp enters a blowline, where it is mixed with resin, The wax improves moisture resistance and the resin initially helps reduce clumping, but ultimately is the primary binding agent. It is then passed through dryer where it dries out quickly.
The dry fibers are then conveyed to the mat forming system. Here they are dropped on the belt which is converted into an even mat with the help of the distribution arms.
The mat is rolled through a series of heavy roller which give them the desired thickness. The edge trimming saws trim the edges of the mat to give the desired length to the board. The chipped fiber from the edges is vacuumed and recycled.
The mat is then passed through the hot press to make the strong bonding of the fiber mats. The hot press allows up to 10 mats to be pressed at a time to the specified thicknesses.
The boards are weighed on a weighing platform, cooled to room temperature in a star cooler, and then stacked on a platform. They are then trimmed with the help of the saws to the required size
The trimmed MDF boards are then stacked in the warehouse from where they are loaded into the trucks as per the required quantity.
In a nutshell, wood is crushed into chips, refined into fibre, mixed with glue and wax and compressed under a high temperature hot press. This in turn cures the glue which then binds the fibre together to become raw MDF.
This raw MDF is then conditioned, sanded, cut and packed before it is ready for sale.
The bark in the rubber wood branches are debarked in order to ensure quality and also remove the latex which is commonly found on the bark of the wood.
The debarked branches are chipped together with the other wood materials and the chips goes through a chip screening process. Strong magnets in the screening process remove metals which may be found in the wood while oversized chips are separated and sent for re-chipping to ensure that only optimal and uniformed sized chips are used to maintain consistency in quality.
The wood chips will then be steamed in a digester where paraffin wax is added for a smoother surface and to give it a better water repellency property.
Finally, the waxed and steamed wood chips will refined into fibre, where resin is added. The fibre is then dried to a required moisture content level before undergoing a shifting process where only high quality fibre that meets the correct specification will be allowed to be transferred to the Mat Former.
At the Mat Former, the fibre will be laid out in the correct height and density before passing through a Metal Detector and a Density Scanner before reaching the Hot Press for pressing. If either the Metal Detector or the Density Scanner detect any problems within the Pre-Press Mat, the conveyor belt will drop to purge and reject the problematic fibre mat and prevent it from reaching the Hot Press.
At the Hot Press, the fibre mat will be compressed while undergoing a continuous press and the high temperature in the Hot Press will cure the resin, activating it to bind the fibre together. This compressed and resin cured fibre will come out of the out-feed as raw board.
The raw board will then be cut into master panel sizes before it is sent to the Star Cooler for about an hour for the board to cool down naturally. The master panels will then been stacked and further conditioning for an additional 3 to 5 days
After conditioning, the master panel will be sent for sanding where the surface is sanded to ensure a uniform smoothness while the thickness of the board will be calibrated during this sanding process.
The sanded board will then be cut to size, packed and sent to the warehouse where it will be arranged for dispatch out of the factory.
Throughout, the entire production process from the receipt of the incoming raw materials to the finished packed board, stringent quality checks are monitored in every section of the entire process.
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