NK

COOL MATERIALS: MDF

by , 01/14/06
filed under: Sustainable Materials

interlam

Through multiple layers of innovation, Interlam – an architectural surfacing company – is adding some serious sex appeal to one of the more banal materials we call upon for everyday construction: Medium Density Fiberboard. The ever humble MDF is a strong, cheap, and easily workable alternative to solid wood planks or plywood sheets, although it is a bit heavier and dustier. Interlam, and its collection of sister/brother/parent companies (I honestly can’t figure out which is which) have improved MDF four fold.

First, they’ve made it 30% stronger than typical MDF. Second, they’ve made it green by replacing the typical formaldehyde binders with new eco-friendly resins and using only the wood waste from other product manufacturing. Third, they’ve quite literally made it green, and blue, and red, and a couple other colors by dying the wood chips before they are compressed with the same 100% organic dyes used for fabric to give the material integral color. How does it get better than this? Their fourth innovation is to use a digitally controlled router to cut more than fifty 3-dimensional patterns. Not only can they router a single piece of integrally colored MDF, but they can sandwich together different colored layers and router through them for a multi-tone pattern. If that still doesn’t excite you, they can add metallic finishes, custom paint or stains, and various patina techniques.

And because the failures of wet MDF are often the first thing that spring to mind, we felt compelled to attach this picture (against our better aesthetic judgment) of a fully functional sink, made out of- you guessed it- MDF.

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2 Comments

  1. Kim Jennings July 31, 2007 at 11:35 am

    Is this available in Beijing, China?

  2. Al January 14, 2006 at 9:16 pm

    Weird but really cool, and very practical

    Can it be used outdoors?

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