It is a product of Investwood, SA a Portuguese company that manages the production and sales of wood fiber boards and cement-wood boards. The wood fiber boards production is done at two plants, IFM, SA and Valbopan, SA - the latter producing MDF Valbopan and Valchromat, from pine wood.
Valchromat was created in 1996, by a research department at the Valbopan, SA factory, part of an effort to develop and improve wood-based products already on the market. Valbopan, SA was awarded 1st prize of Product Introduction and 1st Prize for Technological Innovation in Paris during the Approfal fair in 1998.
Investwood goes to some lengths to distinguish Valchromat from conventional MDF.
"Valchromat is not MDF; it is an evolution of MDF," the company says. While it is similarly wood-based, it has color throughout the thickness, and was developed with specific features of physical and mechanical resistance. "The added value of Valchromat comes not only from color but also from its distinctive composition and manufacturing process," says Investwood.
Fibers are colored individually, impregnated with organic dyes and bonded together by a special resin which gives Valchromat unique physic and mechanical features.
It differs from MDF in several performance factors: it is moisture resistant; it has greater internal cohesion and, therefore, higher mechanical strength; it allows working in three dimensions, has greater resistance to bending, requires less effort to finish, and reduces abrasion of tools.
On the surface small wood fibers are visible, fibres which did not absorb the organic dyes. This peculiarity gives Valchromat its unique and natural look. Because wood, it’s main raw material, has natural variations in tonality, Valchromat can also show variations in color.
Valchromat can be used in several applications. It accepts different types of finishing, from matte, bright, varnished, waxed or oiled, to textured fire-resistant finishing. Among other features:
Colored throughout - It is easy to repair in case of damaged, e. g., scratches. Just some sanding and a new local application of finishing suffice to recover the original appearance. Colour remains, even after cut or machined, regardless the intervention size or depth. It does not require the use of paint, avoiding thereby the toxic nature of these finishes and the inherent cost of acquisition. It does not require gluing an edge.
Easy to Machine - It is on average 30% stronger than standard MDF, and is used for structural purposes. Due to the addition of resins in the composition, it has a greater internal cohesion, which gives it a higher mechanical strength.
Non-toxic - Formaldehyde emissions are within limits set by European standards for wood-based materials.
Greater load resistance - It has a high bending resistance. Once again, its higher resistance capacity is related to its composition and manufacturing process.
Tool Friendly - The panels, after machined, require little or no sanding, reducing labour costs and facilitating the finishing process. Decisive for that in the manufacture process, is the magnetic separation and washing the woodchips, as well as the use of a resin with lubricant characteristics which prolongs the useful life of cutting tools.
Moisture Resistant - It is moisture resistant so it can be used in kitchens, bathrooms and floors. It is suitable for indoors but can be used in protected outdoor applications, in which case it is necessary to varnish the boards on all surfaces and edges.
Learn more at the Valchromat English pages on the Portugal website.