Melamine escalates to carpenter’s #1 choice, here’s why - Sonae Arauco

It is often said within the realms of construction and carpentry that to design the perfect substitute for wood, a consideration of the times we live in is paramount. It’s no secret that melamine boards are a popular option among carpenters and interior design experts as a solid wood alternative

So what is it about melamine boards that make it such an excellent material for home interiors? 

Sonae Arauco’s Innovus Decorative Products allows customers the option to choose from a wide range of décors including Unicolours, Fantasies and Woodgrains categories that match the look and feel of modern living.  

Browse our decorative options [here].

How it is made

Melamine is clear and colourless organic material used as the basis for manufacturing synthetic resins and is rich in nitrogen.

Present-day manufacturing of melamine often employs the use of urea as a foundational material. Urea is broken down into cyanuric acid which is then reacted together to form melamine. The most crucial reaction takes place with formaldehyde which then forms a melamine compound with a dense molecular make-up.

The next process, known as thermostatting (temperature regulation), is where heat is applied which fixes the compound into an insoluble and infusible mould. This crucial stage of development allows the now melamine-based thermoset materials to form cross-linked polymers that lend to the strength of its molecular makeup and overall characteristics of durability.

Advantages of melamine

Below, we list some of the various advantages of using MFB.

  • Because of its high level of molecular stability, melamine can resist both extremely high temperatures as well as physical and chemical tarnishing.
  • Thanks to the thermostatted process, melamine is often used as insulation and for soundproofing.
  • Because melamine is a thermosetting plastic, high-pressure decorative laminates can be used for a variety of applications. These may include cabinetry, flooring options, and furniture.
  • Antibacterial benefits – Melamine boards have a compact surface which creates unfavourable conditions for the reproduction of bacteria and which prevents the build up of dirt.
  • Easy application – Melamine is easy to clean, easy to mill, and includes properties which make it scratch resistant.

Over and above the advantages of their characteristics, melamine based boards have an extremely smooth surface that makes for a versatile option for decorative applications. 

Application from a carpentry perspective

Carpenters have quickly concluded that when working with melamine boards, there is a highly specific process to cutting and refining furniture and cabinetry. Carpenters may find that there are often chips that appear on the edges after cutting. To mitigate this problem, a special blade suitable for cutting melamine should be used together with a scoring blade to ensure that the melamine surface doesn’t chip during the cutting process.

A scoring blade is a small diameter blade that is situated in front of the main blade that spins in the opposite direction and produces a perforated cut. Because it cuts first and from the bottom, they can avoid any tearing or chipping.

Perfect alignment is required for the process to work effectively which usually means that specific machinery is required. This makes melamine boards a preferred option for industry professionals over home renovators and DIYers.

Read more from the carpenters perspective [here]

A range of versatile base products 

To view more of Sonae Arauco’s base products range – click [here]

For more information on our wood-based decorative panels and services, visit us at https://sonaearauco.co.za/