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Hardboard: Hardboard, also called high-density fiberboard, is a type of fiberboard, which is an engineered wood product. It is similar to particleboard and medium-density fiberboard, but is denser and much harder because it is made out of exploded wood fibers that have been highly compressed. It is referred to as Masonite in the USA because that was the first brand to be marketed there in the 1920s (25 years after it was invented in England).

Unlike solid wood, it is very homogeneous with no grain. However, a wood veneer can be glued onto it to give the appearance of solid wood. Other overlays include Formica and vinyl. It has many uses, such as a substrate, but unlike plywood and solid wood, it has no significant structural strength. It is used in construction, furniture, appliances, automobiles and cabinetry, and is popular among acrylic and oil painters as a painting surface due to its economical price (though it must be coated with gesso or canvas before use). It is also used as the final layer in many skateboard ramps and the half-pipe.

Hardboard is produced in either a wet or dry process, which produce a panel called S1S or S2S respectively. The wet process only leaves one smooth side, but dry processed hardboard is smooth on both sides. Like other types of fiberboard, hardboard is susceptible to moisture damage and is generally not used outside. Tempered hardboard is made by adding oil that becomes a polymer when the board is formed under high temperature and pressure. This gives it more water resistance, hardness, rigidity and tensile strength. It is used in construction siding. Tempered hardboard is less suitable for use by artists as the oil can leach out of the board and discolor the paint.

 

Hardboard / Softboard