Powder Coating on MDF
Technological advancements in powder coating materials and application and curing methods have made powder coating possible on heat sensitive substrates, like medium-density fiberboard (MDF). Powder coating technology is evolving and the range of products that it works on continues to expand. Successful testing has occurred on hardwoods. Research is also being conducted on paper-laminated MDF, laminated flooring and particleboard.
MDF is a panel of wood particles bonded with a synthetic resin. It is a perfect wood substrate for powder coating. It is coated with pigmented paint; can take the heat of curing and has consistent moisture content, low porosity and a homogeneous surface.
Painted office furniture, store fixtures, tables, vending machines and kitchen cabinets can all be made of powder coated MDF.
Like powder coating on metal, powder coating on MDF has environmental advantages over traditional solvent-borne coating.
- Negligible volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
- Air from the coating booth and ovens can be exhausted into the plant, reducing the need for makeup air which cuts energy demand.
- Overspray can be reused—up to 98% depending on color changeouts.
Production advantages include:
- One step coating.
- Coat sharp edges or round shapes.
- A thicker, single-coat film build.
- Cured coating has an extremely durable finish that adheres well to the substrate.
Heating the board draws moisture to the surface, making it conductive. Coating is followed by curing. Unlike liquid coated parts, powder coated MDF parts are ready for packaging right off the production line. No additional cure time is needed.
- Profile Companies (2008). The company used an Environmental Assistance Loan from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to install technologies to powder coat MDF products.
- Herman Miller Adds Powder Coating (2002). The furniture manufacturer is able to create interesting and unusual shapes for its state-of-the-art workstations by using powder coating technologies. Courtesy of PF Online.
- Brainerd Technical Design started a conveyorized powder coating line and had a positive impact on productivity and emissions. Describing his satisfaction with the new system, manager Mike Welch stated, “The first 19 of 20 parts ran through the system ended up in production. The 20th was kept as a sample.”
- Powder & Coatings Article: Finishing Medium Density Fiberboard with Powder Coatings (2002)
- Powder Coating Institute: Powder coating MDF (2008)