Melamine can be found in many things of our daily life. Some applications might be more familiar than others, but they all have in common that its unique properties help to make our life easier, more comfortable and safer.

 

Melamine in Laminates

Laminates

 

A decorative film layer (like a wood grain, solid color, or pattern) impregnated with a melamine resin that consists of melamine and formaldehyde (MF resin) is attached to a wooden substrate like fiberboard or particleboard core materials. The resulting products are used in furniture, counter tops, walls, floors, and elsewhere. The contained melamine is adding properties like heat, water and chemical resistance to the end product. Also antibacterial properties are included, making melamine high-pressure or low-pressure laminates the ideal choice for e.g. kitchen counter tops. 

 

 

Melamine in wood adhesives

wood

The wooden substrates mentioned above also contain melamine – plywood, particle boards (PB), medium density fibreboards (MDF) as well as high density fibreboards (HDF), oriented strand boards (OSB) or laminated veneer lumber (LVL) are bonded with melamine containing urea-formaldehyde (UF) adhesives. Also here melamine adds its unique properties to the product; it reduces the release of free formaldehyde, improves the water resistance of the boards.

 

 

 

 

Melamine in Surface Coatings coating

Especially formulated melamine resin systems are used to produce highly durable coatings. This includes clear finishes for paper, fabrics, wood and metals. By pigmenting the resin systems opaque enamel finishes can be obtained. You find them on refrigerators, washing machines, hospital equipment and kitchen utensils where they show their strengths: chemical and water resistance and mechanical properties like scratch resistance.

One popular application is within the automotive industry. MF resins in coatings help to reduce solvent emissions and thus have a positive impact on the environment. 

 

 

Melamine in Moulding Compounds

Dinnerware

Melamine resins are strongly thermosetting and can be moulded into a variety of products for our daily life. The moulds are heat-resistant, odour- and tasteless as well as non-conductive. By adding pigments to the resin, various color and combinations thereof are possible. Final moulding products include house

hold appliances, table- and dinnerware, utensil handles, electric sockets and much more.

 

 

 

 

Melamine in Textiles and Papermoney

Applied to textiles, MF resins improve wrinkle resistance and add flame-retardant properties. Paper treated with melamine is more resistant to wrinkle and impregnated against moisture. Best example are banknotes – despite years of intensive use, they do not wrinkle much and also survive the washing machine.

Other applications 

in which Melamine plays an important role include:

Flame retardants matt

Naturally melamine has a very high nitrogen content. This leads to sublimation or decomposition of the molecule when heated above a determined value. The sublimation or decomposition of melamine is absorbing considerable heat energy and thus serves as a heat sink in fire situations. Thus, melamine is an excellent alternative towards halogen-based flame retardants (FR). It is mainly used in specialized paints, textile products like firefighting apparel, and in flexible urethane foam that is used in the furniture and bedding industry as well as in electronics products. 

 

Concrete plasticiserscement

Melamine also enters the fabrication of melamine poly-sulfonate used as a superplasticizer for making high-resistance concrete. Sulfonated melamine formaldehyde (SMF) is a polymer used as a cement admixture to reduce the water content in concrete while increasing the fluidity and the workability of the mix during its handling and pouring. It results in concrete with a lower porosity and a higher mechanical strength, exhibiting an improved resistance to aggressive environments and a longer lifetime.