Sheet Goods Part 2 - Particle Core

In the last post we discussed the pros and cons of veneer core. In this post we will focus on particle core. What does a particle core consist of? Essentially, particle core is wood chips ground into small wood particles and mixed with glue or resin, formed and pressed into a sheet.


The manufacturing process enables a more consistent thickness than veneer core and because of the refined wood fibres, it is also more stable and less prone to warp from relative humidity.


Particle core is heavier than veneer core. For example, a ¾” white melamine with a particle core will weigh around 95 -100 pounds. A sheet of ¾” veneer core maple will weigh around 70 - 75 pounds. Another downside is its reaction to moisture. Sealing the edges well will increase resistance to moisture damage. If moisture does happen to seep into the core, the particle core will swell up and fail.


Particle core sheets will not be as strong as veneer core. If you are building a shelf to span a distance greater than 30” it will be prone to sagging over time, whereas solid wood installed on the edge will help reduce that. Particle sheets will not hold the amount of weight that veneer core sheets. If you need an economically priced sheet, with stability and consistency, this is your sheet of choice!


There are several great colors and textures of melamine that are adhered to particle core sheets which makes melamine a great option for someone price-conscious and looking to achieve a specific colour or unique grain design.


Particle cores with melamine on the front and back also relieve the shop from the extra labour of sanding and finishing the sheet. Once the panels are cut to size, all that is needed is edging applied, and the panels assembled. Just remember, we stock matching colours and textures in edge banding and even have a Benjamin Moore edge tape program!


Melamine is not the only option for particle core sheets. For example, Craftsmen Hardwoods stocks domestic maple veneers on a particle core. The benefits to this option, as opposed to veneer core, are a less expensive sheet, greater stability and will tend to have a slightly higher quality of veneer.

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