Particleboard or chipboard is manufactured by mixing wood particles or flakes together with a resin and forming the mixture into a sheet. The raw material to be used for the particles is fed into a disc chipper with between four and sixteen radially arranged blades. The particles are first dried, after which any oversized or undersized particles are screened out.
A major disadvantage of particleboard is that it is very prone to expansion and discoloration due to moisture, particularly when it is not covered with paint or another sealer... Safety concerns are two part, one being fine dust released when particleboard is machined (e.g., sawing or routing), and occupational exposure limits exist in many countries recognizing the hazard of wood dusts. The other concern is with the release of formaldehyde. In 1984 concerns about the initial indoor level of formaldehyde led the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to set standards for construction of manufactured homes. This however was not solely because of the large amounts of pressed wood products that manufactured homes contain but also because of other building materials such as Urea-formaldehyde foam insulation. Formaldehyde is classified by the WHO as a known human carcinogen.
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