The History of Particle Boards

Particle board is a man-made composite wood product that is used as an affordable substitute for more expensive hardwoods. To create particle board, the manufacturer combines wood by-products, such as sawdust and wood shavings, with synthetic resins . The material is pressed into sheets and cut in the same manner as natural wood.


Inexpensive kitchen cabinets are often constructed from particle board,

In 1941, a commercial plant in Germany first manufactured particle board. Particle board was sought as a replacement for expensive and scarce plywood materials. Originally, manufacturers used wood waste material for particle board. Today, manufacturers are considering the use of landfill products, such as agricultural waste, for particle board.


Particle board is widely used for furniture and toys. Kitchen countertop substrates utilize particle board. Particle board is not as durable as solid wood and requires special fasteners to hold segments in place.

Health Concerns

Manufacturers have traditionally used formaldehyde-based resins in the manufacturing process. These resins emit toxic gases long after the manufacturing process. As formaldehyde is a suspected carcinogen, manufacturers are turning to safer and more environmentally friendly resins for their products.

About the Author

Rebecca Mecomber, a former radio broadcaster, has been a professional blogger and writer since 2006. Her articles and interviews have appeared in "The Wall Street Journal," Salon.com and several other publications, covering topics such as Federal Trade Commission policy and media regulations, blogging, home improvement and New York travel.