If you’re searching “what is melamine wood?” or “is melamine waterproof?” you might be looking for new cabinets or melamine cabinet drawers, or you may be looking at plates, flooring, or even dry erase boards. Melamine is a laminate product that is a common hard resin overlay which is heat applied to plywood or MDF. It is a highly durable thermosetting plastic which starts as an organic compound which is combined with formaldehyde.
Laminate vs. Melamine
Melamine is type of laminate, yet not all laminates are made from melamine. A laminate is the description of a product where a layer, or laminate, is applied over a substrate such as plywood or MDF. Melamine laminates are constructed by molding a formaldehyde/melamine combination into a sheet of durable plastic. Melamine is fabricated through a process of applying a pressure of about 300 to 500 lbs per square inch. This pressure makes melamine a lower pressure laminate, or LPL. Formica is another type of laminate which is formed using much higher pressure, a whopping 1,400 lbs per square inch.
Melamine Benefits For Building
Melamine when installed correctly is a long lasting, inexpensive, and durable option. While melamine is waterproof if it is installed poorly water may get into the inner wood, causing the melamine to warp. The durability of melamine makes it a favorite, but if installed poorly there is a chance of it chipping.
- Wide Selection – Melamine is produced in an incredibly wide variety of finishes and colors.
- Great Durability – Melamine is waterproof, shatter and scratch resistant.
- Easy On Budget – Melamine covers less expensive wood products like MDF or plywood.
What Is Made From Melamine?
Melamine is widely used product in a number of industries. It is used in kitchen cabinetry, display counters, office furniture, dry erase boards, and even flatware like dishes and bowls. Melamine has become a popular building material as it gives otherwise lower quality materials an attractive and durable finish. While most of us would prefer solid wood cabinetry Melamine offers a much more budget friendly option which is lightweight, convenient, and a cost effective decision.
How Melamine Is Made
A special type of craft paper which does not get soggy or tear even when it is saturated is soaked in a resin called phenol. The resin absorbs into the paper and then goes into a drying oven to cure. The paper is then winded into a roll. At this point solid color or decorative layer melamine is separated into two process lines. Solid color melamine is then coated with additional resin while melamine which will have printed designs is combined with an overlay of melamine.
Under Pressure & Heat
Once these products are ready they are sent to a press. As the laminate sections are laid in the press a metal sheet is set between them to prevent the layers from sticking to each other. Under high heat and pressure the sheets of decorative laminate and the saturated melamine craft paper are made into laminated sheets of melamine. The metal sheets that are set in as the layers are stacked before pressing may contain designs of wood grain or stone texturing. After the press the laminate layers are completely cured. The finishing line trims and sands the sheets to ensure proper adhesion when combined with the MDF or plywood substrates.
Compound laminates are made from stacking thick sections of black laminate along with craft paper and 2 decorative layers. Compound laminates are so thick that they are used without the addition of plywood or MDF to provide structural support.
Melamine Cabinet Drawers
If you are a homeowner or cabinetry company looking for melamine cabinet drawers, Drawer Connection is here to help! We off affordable melamine cabinet drawers, high quality, and fast turnarounds. Let our shop take care of the drawer boxes while you focus on the rest of the cabinetry and doing installs. Homeowners are also welcome to place orders for replacement melamine cabinet drawers.