Particle board

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A composite wood board made from small wood chips mixed with a water-insoluble adhesive then compressed into a dense solid panel. Particle boards were originally made in 1915 as wallboards. The most common adhesive in particle boards is urea formaldehyde glues are used which release volatile formaldehyde. Some particles boards advertised as formaldehyde free, such as Medite, are made with polyurea or phenolic resins. Particle boards are water-resistant, insect resistant and dimensionally stable during humidity and temperature fluctuations. Particle boards are commonly used in the construction of inexpensive furniture, cabinetry and mobile homes. Composition wood boards are usually classified by fiber size (largest to smallest): Waferboard, strandboard, flakeboard, particleboard, and Fiberboard.

Synonyms and Related Terms

particleboard; chipboard (Br.); panneau de particules (Fr.); conglomerado (Esp.); aglomerado de partículas (Port.); pannello di particelle (It.); pressed wood; composition board

Personal Risks

Collection Risks

May emit formaldehyde.

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • pH = 5.4-5.6;
  • Density = 31 ppcf

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 326
  • Hermann Kuhn, Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art and Antiquities, Butterworths, London, 1986 Comment: ..chipboard made since 1915 in the US
  • Pam Hatchfield, Pollutants in the Museum Environment, Archetype Press, London, 2002 Comment: ..highpotential for acid hydrolysis and release of volatile products over time
  • Susan Klim, Composite Wood Material in 20th Century Furniture
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
  • Caring for your Collections, Arthur W Schulz (ed.), Harry N. Abrams, Inc. , New York, 1992

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