Laser treatment transforms MDF producing startling image of rare wood grains

Mar 10, 2008

Researchers at WMG at the University of Warwick have devised a way of using a laser that transforms MDF giving it a surface finish that looks like some of the most expensive wood grains.

The “LaserCoat” research project in a collaborative research effort consisting of eight academic, research and commercial organisations and part-financed by the Technology Strategy Board.

University of Warwick WMG researcher Dr Ken Young said:

“MDF is a superb and highly versatile material. It’s easy to work with and cheap. It is usually made from waste material so it is much kinder to the environment than using more real wood. But normally it looks rather dull in its raw state. Until now there has been no way to liven it up other than painting it.”

“Using lasers to produce a wood grain in MDF could help bring a more natural quality into homes and businesses without the financial and environmental cost of having to use new wood.”

The technology also has great potential for commercial use as it is very hardwearing and can be used for flooring or other applications where cost is an issue but where looks are important too. It can mimic a vast range of real wood grains, it can produce logos, decoration, or even coloured and shaped decorative surfaces using a powder coating version of this new laser technology.

Mick Toner, Factory Manager of Howarth Windows & Doors sees significant benefits from the new technology for his business,

“We would love to use MDF for the glazing beads in doubling glazing but customers do not like the look of raw MDF. This LaserCoat technology will provide a grained look that will delight our customers, give us much more manufacturing flexibility and cut the cost of the raw materials four fold”

“MDF is also an ideal material for providing the thermal insulation required for modern doors. Our customers are increasing using translucent coatings on their doors which are not aesthetically pleasing on MDF panels – the LaserCoat technology cuts through this problem providing an attractive surface for MDF no matter the coating used”

Source: University of Warwick

Explore further: Can science eliminate extreme poverty?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New recyclable MDF could help solve UK waste problem

Nov 01, 2013

A new biodegradable and recyclable form of medium density fibreboard (MDF) has been created that could dramatically reduce the problem of future waste. Today (31 October), Professor Andrew Abbott is awarded ...

Recommended for you

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

3 hours ago

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Apr 18, 2014

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.