What is Valchromat?

Valchromat Colour Samples.

Valchromat is a moisture resistant MDF ( medium density fiberboard). It is unusual because the boards are coloured throughout, with organic dyes. This is important feature, because when it is cut or routed,the colour is still visible on all the exposed surfaces.

The colour choices are:

  • Light Grey
  • Grey
  • Black
  • Chocolate
  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Orange
  • Violet
  • Blue
  • Green

Who Makes it?

A company called Investwood designed Valchromat and manufacture it in Portugal. Whenever possible they use wood that is a by product from other production process’s. While they are still separate, the wood fibres are impregnated with organic colouring agents, which is why the boards are coloured throughout. After they have been dyed, the coloured wood fibres are chemically bound to one another using a special resin. This is a different method of production to the MDF that is commonly used in the building industry today, which uses a formaldehyde based adhesive to glue the fibres together.

Valchromat as Biomass

At the end of the life of a Valchromat product, it can be recycled. Or it can be used as biomass. I find this fascinating, because most man made boards, produce toxic fumes when they are burnt. This means that, unlike untreated timber, they can’t safely be used as biomass without polluting the environment.

I wanted to know more about this and so I contacted Lathams timber.

I asked for more information about using Valchromat as biomass and they contacted Investwood for me. The response email read;

Hi Alex,

Please see the reply from Valchromat below.

We can confirm that the product is used as biomass for our hot air generator, we are self-sufficient with regard to biomass for the production of steam and hot air for the manufacturing process.

Well that’s a smart section of a production line! The waste is recirculated to provide some of the energy required to manufacture the product.

It’s excellent news to me as a carpenter working with the product, because the sawdust created when cutting it (which I collect using a dust extractor) is non toxic. I too can use it as biomass, and maybe even, I’ll be able to find a secondary use for this by product?

What can you build with it?

Valchromat can be used to build furniture, including chairs, tables and cabinates.

It serves a duel purpose when used as flooring, or wall panels because it has acoustic insulation properties. What’s more, it can be used for load bearing purposes, so it can be used to build staircases. I would love to build a multi coloured set of stairs!

It’s moisture resistant, therefore it can be used to make bathroom vanity units and kitchen cupboards. It is incredibly easy to make a door from Valchromat because it can be cut to size from 1 piece, only requiring a quick sand to finish the edges.

Also, because it is non toxic, it makes splendid toys for children.

In Conclusion, Valchromat is a colourful, non toxic building material with a wide range of uses and I would definitely recommend experimenting with it .