Medium-density fibreboard is an engineered wood product made by breaking down hardwood or softwood shavings into wood fibres, combining it with wax and a resin binder, and forming it into panels by applying high temperature and pressure. MDF is generally denser than plywood and particleboard and is an excellent building material that industrial machinery can handle with ease as it has excellent cutting and drilling qualities. On top of that, MDF has a smooth surface ideal for applying surface finishes or paint.
The product name derives from the distinction in densities of fibreboard. Over time, the term "MDF" has become a generic name for any dry process fibreboard. It is typically composed of 82% wood fibre, 9% formaldehyde resin glue, 8% water, and 1% paraffin wax. Large-scale production of MDF began in the 1980s, in both North America and Europe. Specific applications have driven the evolution of the various types of MDF to a versatile product it is today.