The basic raw material used in manufacture of fiberboard is cellulose fiber which is obtained from trees and/or reclaimed (waste) paper.
Cellulose fibers are obtained from trees by the “pulping” operation which involves debarking, chipping, and cooking with chemicals to separate the cellulose from other wood components. Cellulose fibers are obtained from reclaimed paper by mechanical repulping in water.
Cellulose fibers, once pulped, go through the stock preparation phase where they are cleaned and sent through a refining stage.
The conditioned fibers are sent to the paper machine in a water slurry for conversion to paperboard. The paper machine is a large controlled water removal system having four distinctive manufacturing steps: mat formation, pressing, drying, and calendering.
The paperboard from the paper machine is sheeted or wound in rolls. It may be sold in this condition or undergo further processing such as laminating or coating before it is sent to the automotive fabricator.