Machining Fire-Retardant MDF
If machining is likely to be a big problem, I wondered about trying an intumescent clear coat over standard veneered MDF as an alternative approach.
From contributor G:
We are currently cutting a commercial job that calls for fire retardant plywood and just finished three smaller jobs that required fire retardant MDF and/or water resistant MDF (an outdoor storage shed, patio cabinet and cooking stations for "The Garlic Fest", which we donated). I program, run and maintain our CNC and did notice a little bit more wear and tear on the 3/8" compression bit. I changed the bit out about 15 sheets earlier than I normally do.
From contributor J:
One of my suppliers has recently come out with a tool that might be good for this application. It is an insert compression bit that allows for carbide inserts or diamond inserts or a combination of both. The idea is that you can use carbide inserts where carbide is most cost-effective and diamond inserts in the most abrasive areas, like an abrasive veneer or laminate where you tend to get wear lines. The diameter is 20mm for single-flute or 25mm for double flute.
From contributor R:
We see a carbide tool only last 20 to 50% as long in fire MDF as regular MDF. The thickness makes a big difference due to dust removal. We went to diamond bits and got about 12x the tool life of the carbide tooling.
From contributor C:
What you have is a very tough application. We have the very hard carbide that extends the wear, but I would like to see you try some of the coatings we are trying, including diamond film coating.
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