Combination Cores are a hybrid of veneer and composites that take advantage of the best properties of both by using veneers to build the center portion and thin MDF on the outer layer of a core, directly under the face and back veneers. Combination cores are proprietary to, and branded by hardwood plywood producers: States Industries' is ArmorCore®.
The veneer centers are light, strong, and dimensionally stable and hold screws well; the MDF surfaces provide a smooth, flat and solid support for the decorative face and back veneers.
Combination Cores are popular with case good manufacturers for their ability to support high value, very thin face and back veneers, especially in geographic areas with very low humidity which can cause veneers to split or "check". Their strength, low weight and ability to hold fasteners exceed composite cores and their flatness, smoothness and tight tolerances generally exceeds veneer cores. These cores typically carry a Class C fire rating, and can be ordered in No-added-ureaformaldehyde formats.
1 STEP ARMORCORE®
1 Step ArmorCore®, like 1 step veneer core is constructed by bringing face and back veneers, thin MDF and veneer inner plies together at one time into the press. This is the least expensive way to make a combination core.
2 STEP ARMORCORE®
2 Step ArmorCore® starts by pressing a veneer blank, sanding it to a metered tolerance, and then going back into the press with the MDF "crossbands" and the face and back veneers. The additional processing adds to the cost, but produces a smoother, flatter and tighter tolerance panel.