If you are using particle board on a project, you can choose between standard boards and products that have specific moisture resistance. How is moisture-resistant particle board different, and what are the advantages of using it?
What Is Moisture-Resistant Particle Board?
All particle boards are typically made up in the same way. They contain a mix of reconstituted woods in the form of particles, flakes or strands.
These materials are loose to start with. They are mixed together with a resin adhesive to create mats. These are then forced together to create board or panel shapes. During this process, the resin cures and sets to create a strong board.
Moisture-resistant particle board goes through this standard process. However, it doesn't use a standard resin as a binder.
These boards use specialist resins and sometimes waxes that are moisture-resistant. The waxes may form part of the board's inner core and/or add extra resistance to the surface. Some products also contain an inner anti-fungal treatment or an exterior preservative.
What Are the Benefits of Using Moisture-Resistant Particle Boards?
Standard particle boards don't have much, if any, protection against the effects of humidity, moisture or water. When they get wet, water soaks through the board's particles relatively easily.
This can affect the strength of the board which may start to soften and rot. The resin adhesive may start to unstick.
Plus, if the board gets too moist or wet and then dries out, then its surface area will change. It will swell when wet as its particles suck up the moisture. As it dries, this swelling may not disappear. The board may have bulging weak spots in it.
Moisture-resistant particle board deals with humidity and moisture more effectively. Its resin adhesives have some built-in water resistance. They slow down water ingress into the board's materials. Waxes add extra protection, especially around surface areas.
Resins and waxes should prevent the board's particles from soaking up moisture. This should, in turn, prevent typical water damage. Boards with anti-fungal treatments are also less likely to grow moisture-based moulds.
While no particle boards can cope with very wet environments, moisture-resistant products may be a better option if your boards will be in a humid environment or will come into contact with moisture every now and then.
For more information on whether this is a good option for your project, ask particle board suppliers in your area for advice.