High Pressure Laminate
Enhance the Value and Life of Commercial Properties with High Pressure Laminate.
High pressure laminate (HPL) is a form of decorative laminates in which the layers of Kraft paper impregnated with melamine resin are infused with decorative paper and protective overlay and the resulting laminate is attached to the substrates at high pressures and temperatures. Though the similar process is used to manufacture low pressure laminates, the difference lies in the range of pressure used.
Apart from being a popular option for residential installations like kitchen countertops, it caters perfectly to the high-traffic commercial flooring purposes. Architects and designers also recommend HPL for a variety of furniture and cabinetry needs as well.
The increasing acceptance of laminate in the mid-20th century encouraged manufacturers to derive it into new forms. Marc-Anton André, the sixth generation of Johann Ludwig André who is credited with the launch of the first German veneer manufacturing venture in 1851, founded the first decorative laminates in 1959.
It was a high pressure laminate and inspired scores of other manufacturers to follow the pack. The European Standard EN438 (precisely Part 3) has been assigned for the manufacturing of this category of decorative laminates. HPL nowadays is available in many possible varieties, patterns and designs to match the individual needs.
About High Pressure Laminate
As the name suggests, HPL is molded at high pressures that usually range from 70-100 bars or 1,000-1,500 pounds per square inch (psi). To be more specific, the most common pressure range used in the process is 1,200-2,000 lb per square inch. The process involves few steps, the first being impregnating multiple layers of Kraft paper with melamine resin.
The resulting melamine laminate is covered with a decorative paper layer which is then protected with an overlay film. The final step involves attaching it on a substrate. The resulting product is the high pressure laminate which is extremely versatile for use in both vertical and horizontal applications.
Benefits of High Pressure Laminate
- Versatility : As mentioned earlier, HPL is an extremely versatile material which finds use in applications like vertical surfaces like doors and windows as well as horizontal ones like tabletops and countertops. Other applications include vanities, cabinets as well as floorings.
- Durability : Manufactured under high pressures, this form of laminate is highly durable and is therefore useful for commercial places experiencing high traffic. It is a preferred choice at hospitals, laboratories, hotels, restaurants, education institutes as well as different office spaces.
- Variety : It can be selected in a number of different specifications in terms of looks, thicknesses, materials, colors, patterns and more. Depending on the ambiance of the room or place, it is possible to create amazing contrasts by choosing the right kind of HPL.
- Hygiene : Like all other forms of laminates, it is also counted among the most hygienic materials in the construction, architecture and designing industry. The manufacturers use anti-bacterial coatings and anti-fungal additives to ensure that the material remains free from microbes and is extremely health-friendly.
- Safety : High pressure laminate is resistant to fire which makes it an ideal choice for kitchen countertops. It is also flame retardant which endorses its use in the laboratories and other similar settings. For being safe, it offers great return for the investments.
- Damage-free : It is resistant to chemicals and heat as well as to cigarette burns and abrasion. Going further, it is also not prone to wear and tear, cracks, scratches and impact. Most of the top brands offer moisture-resistant varieties as well. It means you can expect it to serve for many years.
- Maintenance : It is also easy to clean and maintain as it doesn’t accumulate dirt and is not easily affected by different weather elements.
Materials of High Pressure Laminate
Kraft paper (usually a paper or a cardboard) is known to be a strong material. The decorative film used in HPL is available in many patterns and designs ranging from wood grain to solid colors, chrome and decorative patterns. The popular substrates used include medium density fiberboard (MDF) or particleboard.