There is huge growth in Decorative Laminate manufacturing capacity.
A laminate is usually permanently assembled by heat, pressure or adhesives. High Pressure Decorative Laminates are key design choice and have a range of applications and specific benefits of use. Laminates are valued for their trustworthy equality – in color, tone and luster for designers. Without laminates, the ultramodern interior infrastructure industry cannot outlive. If plywood adds to the body and functioning of interiors, then laminates render form and ambiance to any portion.
Decorative Laminates (a blend of paper and plastic resins) are hard and brittle sheets having a thickness of around 1 mm, and are widely used as an overlay over wood, such as in the case of laminated table tops, wood panels, or other wooden furniture. The sheets have a decorative surface (made using decorative printed paper) and are manufactured in a wide variety of colors, design patterns and textures.
Types of Laminates
In this article are going to take a look at the various types of decorative laminates, and the different ways in which these laminates are usually classified.
Classification of Laminates based on Manufacturing Process
HPL and LPL
The decorative laminate manufacturing process involves soaking brown paper, decorative paper, and translucent paper in plastic based resins. The brown paper which forms the base is soaked in phenol formaldehyde, while the other two papers are soaked in melamine resin. The soaked papers after drying become hard and brittle. These papers are then pressed and bonded together under high pressure and temperature. Depending on the amount of pressure used in the bonding process, laminates can be classified as HPL (High Pressure Laminates) or LPL (Low Pressure Laminates).
High pressure laminates (HPL) such as those manufactured under the brand names of Sunmica or Formica, are hard decorative sheets that are commonly fixed by carpenters over plywood while making the furniture. In the case of Low Pressure Laminates (LPL) only the decorative paper is soaked in Melamine resin, and the laminated paper is then directly bonded to Particle Boards or Fiber Boards (MDF and HDF).
Regular Laminate sheets and Compact Laminates
The regular laminate sheets usually have a thickness that ranges from 0.6 mm to 1.5 mm, and these sheets are glued by carpenters to substrate materials such as plywood using common adhesives like Fevicol. There are also other thicker types of laminates manufactured called Compact Laminates which have a thickness ranging from 3 mm to 30 mm. These Compact Laminates are self-supporting and hence do not need to be glued to woods or any other material. Both the top and bottom sides of compact laminates have decorative surfaces.
Laminate Brands in India
Sunmica: Sunmica is one of the foremost brands in the Indian Laminate Industry that has become a household name and has the highest brand recall amongst Indian customers. In fact when most Indians say ‘Sunmica’ what they mean to say is ‘Laminates’. The two words have become so synonymous with each other in India.
The Sunmica business division was earlier a part of the Wadia group company, Bombay Burmah Trading company. However recently in the year 2011, it has been acquired by Japanese company AICA that manufactures and markets various kinds of building materials including laminates. The Sunmica laminate manufacturing unit in India is located at Rudrapur in the northern state of Uttaranchal.
Formica: Formica International a US-based company has been the pioneer of the laminates industry in the world. The company started its operations in the US and later spread to Europe and Asia. The company operated in India for about 10+ years (from 1963-64 to 1975), after which they had made an exit from the Indian market.
Formica which is now owned by New Zealand based company Fletcher Building Products Ltd.has recently made an entry into the Indian market once again, and has acquired a laminate manufacturing unit at Ahmedabad, in Gujarat, India.
GreenLam Laminate – from the makers of GreenPly: GreenPly Industries Ltd. is an India based multi-national company that has strong presence in the plywood, veneers, particle board and decorative laminates market in India. Laminates manufactured by Greenply are sold in India under the brand name of GreenLam Laminates. The company manufactures decorative laminate sheets at its factories located at Behror in Rajasthan and at Nalagarh in Himachal Pradesh.
Merino Laminates: Merino is the third largest manufacturer of decorative laminates in the world. It entered the Interior design solutions sector in India in the year 1974, with the manufacturing of plywood. Soon HPL (High-pressure decorative laminates) was also added to its product range when the company set-up laminate manufacturing factories at Hapur and later at Rohad, near Delhi.