If you want your products to turn customers’ heads, a thermally fused laminate may be just what you need.
A thermally fused laminate can be a practical and beautiful way to finish many products, such as countertops, cabinets and more. Part of the appeal of thermally fused laminates is that they let you provide the on-trend finishes your customers want, regardless of the substrate. They can even allow you to mimic the look of other substrates, such as wood or marble.
If you’re considering offering a version of your product with a thermally fused laminate finish, here are some terms and facts you need to know.
Types Of Thermally Fused Laminate Coatings
There are two broad categories of thermally fused laminate coatings: high pressure laminates (HPL) and low pressure laminates (LPL).
Both types involve the bonding of a film to another substrate to create a particular finish. However, each is created through a different process using a different type of machinery. Because of those different processes, the chemical makeup of the film also needs to be different.
Similarities Between Low And High Pressure Laminate Options
You can actually achieve a similar look with either a high pressure laminate or low pressure laminate.
You can also potentially achieve various benefits with either option, depending on how the film is formulated. For example, one thermally fused laminate could create a scratch resistant coating. Another might create a chemical resistant coating. Still others might offer heat resistance, fingerprint resistance or some combination of these features.
It’s also worth noting that neither a low pressure laminate or high pressure laminate will affect the structural integrity of the base substrate.
As for how they’re made, both low and high pressure laminates start off as a film, and both go through a UV curing process. Both also allow for B-stage curing, which means that the film can be partially cured by a third-party, such as Duracote, and then provided to you for application to the substrate and final curing.
All thermally fused laminates offered by Duracote are B-staged for your convenience; we perform the initial UV curing, but you complete the manufacturing process at the time and location that best fits your workflow.
Differences Between Low And High Pressure Laminate Films
Low pressure laminate films are bonded to a substrate using lower pressure but higher temperatures. High pressure laminate films are bonded through higher pressure but lower temperatures.
Some types of high pressure laminate films are also used with adhesives, but Duracote can provide an effective high pressure laminate film without any adhesive required.
Formulating The Film For Your Thermally Fused Laminate
With the help of our product development experts and UV curing equipment, you can achieve a thermally fused laminate that meets your needs — and your customers’ demands.
Duracote can develop films for both low and high pressure lamination systems. Our thermally fused laminate films are also specially compounded to provide a fingerprint, chemical and scratch resistant coating.
The science may be complex, but we can make the production process simple: Based on your requirements, Duracote will produce a B-staged film with a release liner to be fully cured at your facility in either a high or low pressure lamination press.
To learn more or get started, reach out today.