Raw Materials and Pretreatment
Manufactured with a smooth, uncoated surface, chipboard is available in many sizes and is used for projects such as book making and construction. Chipboard is an engineered wood product made from wood waste. To transform chipboard from wood waste into a usable product requires several steps during the manufacturing process. Typically saw dust and wood chips that are produced during the manufacture of other wood products are the raw materials used for manufacturing chipboard. After the raw materials are gathered they are separated according to their size and sent to the chipper.
Chipping, Drying and Screening
Chipping reduces the wood waste to a uniform size. During the chipping process, the size chips required later in the manufacturing process are created before being sent to dry. Once chipping is complete, the wood chips are sent to a dryer, where the drying process ensures the wood chips are at the appropriate moisture level. Once the desired moisture level is attained, the chips are screened to separate the assortment of chips into uniformly sized collections.
Gluing and Chipboard Formation
The gluing process involves the application of synthetic resins and additives to the different sized wood chips. The chips are then ready to be formed into the chipboard product. The process of forming chipboard involves three layers. Chipboard consists of a layer of bigger chips forming the center of the finished product and smaller wood particles forming the outer layers. After the chips are arranged according to the desired specifications, the boards are sent to the press.
Pressing uses a high temperature press to form the boards to the desired thickness. Pressing of the product induces the glued particles to adhere together tightly, creating a strong bond once the cooling process is complete. After cooling, the post-treatment process produces chipboard to meet the desired specifications of a multitude of projects.
Post-treatment involves several steps. The chipboard surface is sanded to produce the smooth, uncoated surface that is characteristic of the product. After sanding, the chipboard is cut to the desired dimensions of the finished product. Once the chipboard has been cut to the desired size, the product is ready for storage and shipment to distribution centers and retailers. Depending on the intended use of the chipboard, an additional process, called laminating, applies a decorative layer of paper material to the chipboard prior to storage.
Randall Bullard holds an Associate of Arts in business and will receive a Bachelor of Science in business/information systems from the University of Phoenix in 2010. He currently attends Altamaha Technical College for computer information systems/networking specialist certification. Bullard has worked as a sales consultant for Ford Motor Company, has owned a residential construction business, and has work published with eHow, Associated Content and Helium.