High Pressure Laminates
High Pressure Laminates : A Designer’s Choice.
High Pressure Laminates (HPL) are composed of multiple layers of Kraft paper, including a layer of decorative paper with solid color & design, and a highly durable and strong protective layer that may have decorative features or printed accents to enhance the aesthetics and functionality of the space. Owing to its endless applications ranging from cabinets, countertops, vanities, store fixtures, flooring and much more, HPL is the most preferred choice among designers and architects.
High Pressure Laminate is available in a wide range of wood grains, colors, custom prints, abstracts and finishes, making it an ideal choice for an array of vertical and horizontal applications. It is cured under high pressure and heat to improve strength, resiliency and durability under a wide range of applications.
High pressure laminate is the descendent of traditional plastic laminate, which gained importance only during the mid 20th century. It is believed that Johann Ludwig Andre founded high pressure laminates in 1959 and inspired manufacturers to integrate innovative designs across a wide range of applications.
Examples of decorative laminates could also be found during the 17th and 18th century when the English and French used hardwood, molded under high pressure, to manufacture various kinds of furniture. However, it only came into prominence in interior designing and architecture only after 20th century.
About High Pressure Laminates
High pressure laminate is a form of decorative laminate and comprise of multiple layers of laminates that have been molded and cured at pressure above 1,000 lb per sq in. and most widely in the range of 1,200 to 2,000 lb per sq in. It is one of the most durable and strongest decorative surface materials and features key properties like resistance to fire, wear and chemicals. High Pressure Laminates are manufactured by inundating multiple layers of Kraft paper in phenolic resin. Before pressing, a layer of decorative printed paper is placed on top, while it has a protective layer beneath to ensure strength and resiliency. The layers are then fused together under pressure and heat, which is over 1,000 PSI.
Since phenolic resin is thermoset plastic, the molding & curing process transforms it into plastic and converts the composites into a tough laminated sheet. The process of thermosetting causes a rigid and irreversible bond that makes HPL most durable, strong and reliable. Owing to its durability, high pressure laminate is one of the most preferred choices for horizontal surfaces like countertops, flooring, furniture and desktops. Because it is extremely tough and rigid, it performs well even in vertical applications and high traffic zones like commercial interiors, office furniture, hospitality, healthcare, education institutes and retail.
Benefits of High Pressure Laminates
High pressure laminates offer numerous benefits as mentioned herewith:
- A highly robust, versatile and decorative surface suitable for both horizontal and vertical applications in high traffic areas.
- Nonporous, waterproof surface.
- It is used in a wide range of applications like tabletops, kitchen countertops, vanities, flooring and even vertical surfaces like doors. This makes HPL highly versatile in nature.
- Since it is manufactured under high pressure & heat, it is extremely tough and durable, and resistant to external stress like abrasion, crack, moisture, scratch and heat.
- HPL is considered one of the most hygienic and safe materials used in interior designing, architecture and construction. In kitchens, anti-fungal additives and anti-bacterial are used to ensure that it is microbe-free and food safe.
- Extremely easy to clean and does not require regular maintenance.
Materials of High Pressure Laminates
High pressure laminates are formed from Kraft paper, with a decorative printed paper on top and a protective layer beneath. Typical materials used are plywood, timber and plastic.