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MDF and humidity

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by PaulDF, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. PaulDF

    PaulDF Second Unit

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    Not sure where to post this so I'll try it here...

    I'm just wondering what would happen to bare MDF cabinets if exposed to higher than average humidity?

    Is it possible for bare MDF to swell in higher humidities?? If so, what about vented cabinets that are bare on the inside?
     
  2. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

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    Yeap it absorbs moisture like a sponge.

    There is little actual inside to outside the box air exchange through a port.

    If this is an anticipated problem, seal the inside with a coat of poly, lacquer, etc
     
  3. Darren_T

    Darren_T Second Unit

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    Want to try a fun experiment? Place a small chunk of MDF in a puddle of water and watch it turn into a wet pile of dust [​IMG]

    Same thing happens with particle board...you know, the stuff they build kitchen cabints out of these days for most non custom homes. One leak under the sink and you have to replace or repair the cabinets.
     
  4. PaulDF

    PaulDF Second Unit

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    Ok so the lesson here is to avoid leaving naked MDF cabs anywhere there might be higher than normal humidity... I'd never really given it much thought, or seen a post about it here before. And I know there are people out there with naked cabinets!
     
  5. Bryan Michael

    Bryan Michael Supporting Actor

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    i have a set of speakers at my work with is a pool and the cabs are just fine the screws are rusting but the speakers are just fine.
     
  6. PaulDF

    PaulDF Second Unit

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    Bryan, let me clarify this... You work at a pool and have bare MDF speakers there? Or are you referring to the inside of the cab?

    Are they DIY speakers or the commercial chipboard type?
     
  7. Bryan Michael

    Bryan Michael Supporting Actor

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    i work at a pool and it is in door with high humidy and it is a set of polk audio r10
     
  8. Darren_T

    Darren_T Second Unit

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    Yeah, the humidity probably won't do much to the MDF unless it's extreme but I bet it has absorbed some of it at the pool. You might not see it and the joints might be sound currenlty but they will fail eventually. More important are humidity CHANGES... so variations from summer to winter. This will cause the joints to fail more so than a constant higher humidity which may never cause any significant problem. They may be fine but I wouldn't bet on it. I'd seal them.
     

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