FEATURES OF A LAMINATE SHEET

A laminate sheet is a blend of paper and plastic. Decorative and brown paper which is soaked in melamine resin and phenolic resin are pressed together with considerable force to create a stiff laminate sheet. The process of creating a decorative laminate sheet involves machines and various substances.

SUBSTANCES AND MACHINES

Phenolic resin is used which is made up of Phenol. Melamine resin is another substance used in the making of laminate sheets. Other ingredients are brown paper, translucent paper and decorative printed paper.

The machines used are: Drying and cooling machines, Cutting machines which are used for cutting the laminate sheets or papers to the size required, Paper impregnation line, Hydraulic press, Steel plates and Sanding machine.

PROCESS  

The following are the methods to make a laminate sheet.

The brown paper is soaked in a bathtub filled with phenolic resin. This paper forms the base of the laminate. The paper absorbs the resin. Soaking is achieved by a machine which is called Paper Impregnation Line. This machine moves the rolled paper through the resin, a process called impregnation. The decorative and the translucent paper are both soaked with melamine resin through a similar process which makes them hard, stiff and confers the ability to resist scratches and wear.

The next step is to dry the papers. After they are dried, the papers become brittle and stiff. The cutting machines are now employed to cut the hard rolls of papers to desired sizes.

Now the important step is undertaken which is to hard press the papers under high pressure and temperature. Hydraulic presses do this job. The bottommost layer is the brown paper, the middle layer is the decorative paper and the topmost layer is the translucent paper. The hydraulic presses press a large number of sheets at the same time. Separator steel plates present between the sheets prevent them from sticking into each other. These plates also carry designs and patterns which get etched onto the surface of the laminate sheets.

Final step is the sanding process. The bottom side is sanded using a sanding machine. It is done to make the bottom surface adhere to other surfaces more easily.

TYPES

Decorative laminates, High pressure laminate sheet and High pressure decorative laminate for kitchen cabinet. The laminate sheets are present in various designs and colours especially the decorative laminate sheets. Colours include pine, red, coffee and white among others.