Know your Laminate: Chemical, Thermal, and Mechanical Properties
Laminates are omnipresent in our daily lives and are the unsung heroes in various residential, commercial and industrial spaces. A laminate is made up of bonded layers of design paper and craft papers, it is one of the most crucial elements in home décor, furniture and much more. We must acknowledge that designer laminates are a huge part of our lives and therefore understand the basic properties of laminates, highlight their benefits and diverse use cases.
Here are some properties of laminates that must be understood if you want to truly identify the type of laminate you need for your next project:
Mechanical Properties of Laminates
Strength and Sturdiness
Laminates are known for their exceptional strength and sturdiness. This makes it useful for various applications and can endure substantial weight. It is immune to deformation and breaking under normal loads.
Resistance to Impact
Laminates have an impressive resistance to impact. Therefore, it can be used in areas with a high level of traffic, such as the kitchen and living room. Even in these demanding environments, it can withstand the test of time.
Despite being sturdy and resistant to impact, laminates offer some degree of flexibility. This flexibility, under minor stress and weight, prevents the laminate from breaking and cracking.
Thermal Properties of Laminates
Laminates have very low thermal conductivity implying that it is not a good conductor of heat and electricity. This feature makes laminates useful for environments that have fluctuating temperatures to maintain stability.
Resistant to Thermal Expansion
Laminates are less prone to expansion and contraction under temperature changes. This is because laminates have a low thermal expansion coefficient. Therefore, it is one of the top choices for countertops in the kitchen.
Highly Resistant to Fire
In places where safety is extremely important and the risk of fire is high, like in commercial and industrial spaces, there are fire-resistant laminate options available. These fire-resistant laminates are capable of handling higher temperatures and can help in preventing structures and other furnishings.
Chemical Properties of Laminates
Many Laminates are resistant to a large number of chemicals, including solvents. This makes laminates extremely useful in spaces where corrosion/erosion/abrasion is a point of concern. Let’s take a look at how they can be utilized in various settings.Use in Laboratories:
Laminates have a durable surface that can withstand accidental solvent or chemical splashes. This makes it an ideal candidate for use on a workbench as researchers can work on it without the worry of damaging it.Use in Industries:
Several industries require routine handling and storage of chemicals. Laminate’s resistance to these chemicals ensures that workstations and storage units receive minimal damage and can be used for a longer period.Use in Healthcare Facilities:
Healthcare facilities are regularly cleaned and disinfected using disinfectants and cleaning agents. The use of laminates in such spaces facilitates easy cleaning and promotes infection control efforts.
Laminates have a protective layer that has excellent resistance to stains. This simplifies the cleaning and maintenance process. Therefore laminates are extremely useful in places where spilling, everyday wear and tear, and stains are routine.Use in Residential Kitchens:
Laminates can withstand the harsh stains that can occur in culinary areas. Countertops and cabinet surfaces made up of laminates do not retain any stains that occur from food, beverages and other cooking ingredients.Use in Commercial Kitchens:
Laminates are the most demanded choice for use on tables and counters in restaurants and cafes. It ensures that spills and stains by customers do not affect the ambience of the property.Use in Office and Retail:
Offices and retail environments require a stain less and professional feel at all times. Any spill from tea, coffee, ink, etc. should be cleanable with ease. Laminates fit just right and fill all these demands.
Moisture resistance is extremely important in certain spaces. Absorbing moisture can lead to warping, swelling and other deformations. Laminates are inherently moisture-resistant and this makes them ideal in such areas.Kitchen and Bathrooms:
Laminates are the most common material for kitchen and bathroom vanities. Since these areas are exposed to regular moisture and liquid spills, laminates are the preferred choice due to their resistance. Laminates ensure that they remain aesthetically pleasing and do not deform over time.Commercial Restrooms:
In commercial buildings such as malls, airports, etc. laminates or compact laminates are employed in making partitions and vanity countertops. These areas are high-traffic areas and are prone to regular moisture. The resistant property of laminates is essential for the longevity of these areas.
It is a fact that laminate is highly durable and possesses a wide range of features that are essential for use in such places. They are indispensable in the fields of interior design, furniture and much more. Their flexibility, strength, impact resistance, and thermal and chemical properties make them useful even in the harshest environments. Laminates continue to shape the world around us in more ways than we can realize.