As MDF is manufactured from reconstituted wood fibres, all of the adhesives that perform satisfactorily on wood substrates will perform equally well on MDF. When bonding MDF to other materials, the choice of a specific type of adhesive will be determined mainly by the surface characteristics of these other materials. Other factors affecting choice include the method of applying the adhesive, by hand, glue roller, or by spray, flammability regulations and pressing conditions, whether by hand or in a press at room or elevated temperature. When specifying adhesives for use with MDF, note should also be taken of the likely conditions of use of the bonded items, at high ambient temperatures or in damp conditions, for instance.

The following adhesive types listed in alphabetical order are in common use on MDF substrates.

Wood veneering
Polyvinyl acetate (PVAC)
Urea formaldehyde (UF)

Plastics laminate veneering
Neoprene Polyvinyl acetate (PVAC)
Urea formaldehyde (UF)

Paper foil laminating
Copolymer dispersion
Urea formaldehyde (UF)

PVC foil laminating
Copolymer dispersion

Edge lipping or banding
Hot Melt Polyvinyl acetate (PVAC)
Urea formaldehyde (UF)

Assembly jointing
Polyvinyl acetate (PVAC)
Urea formaldehyde (UF)

Veneer or foil wrapping
Hot melt
Polyurethane solvent based
Polyvinyl acetate (PVAC)

Membrane pressing
Polyurethane two part - PVC foil
Polyvinyl acetate (PVAC) - Wood veneers

Exterior applications
Resorcinol formaldehyde
Any adhesive satisfying the D4 requirements of EN204

General notes

Users should consult suppliers data sheets for specific instructions and recommendations relating to the use of each adhesive. The following supplementary notes will help to ensure satisfactory results.

1. MDF does not normally require sanding before laminating as the 100/120 grit finish on manufactured boards provides a satisfactory surface for gluing. Boards should be flat and within the specified thickness tolerance of ±0.2 mm tip to 30 mm and ±0.3 mm over 30 mm nominal thickness.

2. Assembly joints should he cleanly machined and the parts should fit closely but not tightly. Tight fitting parts can result in glue starvation and a risk of internal delamination within the board.