MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) is well known for its versatility, particularly in the furniture and construction industries, with new applications being developed continually. Although the material itself is relatively inexpensive, much of the production cost of mass produced products is associated with the finishing of the products surface, either by conventional wet paint spraying, vacuum coating or membrane pressing.
The prospect of applying powder coating material to MDF and curing using Ultra Violet Light (U.V.) has focused many minds on the many potential advantages of powder coating MDF. U.V. curing powders, however cost significantly more than conventional coating powders and at present the range of colours and finishes is still somewhat limited. The U.V. of course will only cure the powder when it is in a "liquid" state, so an intense Infra Red (I.R.) is required prior to the U.V.It was then found that ultra low bake convention of powders could be flowed and cured quickly using just I.R. before the MDF became hot enough to be damaged, hence obviating the need for U.V.The problem of coating consistency from one batch of MDF to another or due to the shaping of the surface has been overcome by a simple on line pre-conditioning of the board, again using I.R.A great deal of excitement and interest is now being generated by the fact that this is now a proven production process using standard powder coating application equipment and virtually standard format coating powders. This means of course that manufacturers can now mass-produce a variety of products finished with all the advantages (single coat, tough, economical, environmentally friendly, attractive etc) of powder coating.