Basically melamine is a white powder. It has its roots in natural gas, which is processed to ammonia and further to urea. Melamine is an organic base with 66% nitrogen content and thus the most valuable and sophisticated product in the nitrogen chain. Melamine itself has fire retardant properties.

Melamine 1Historical background

Melamine was first synthesized by the German scientist Justus von Liebig in the 1830’s. Commercial interest and synthesis of the compound started in 1937 when melamine was first produced with urea as feedstock.

Today most melamine is still used in the decorative surfaces of wood-based panels and as a component of the glue that binds the wood chips or fibres together.

Melamine in your daily life

Examples of melamine-based products are decorative surface laminates for kitchen worktops, furniture and floors and adhesives for board materials such as particle board (chipboard), MDF (medium-density fibreboard) and plywood, oriented strand board (OSB) and laminated veneer lumber (LVL).

There is a wide range of other application fields like coatings, thermosetting/moulding compounds, flame retardant foams, paper and textile, concrete plasticizers and many more.

Melamine makes everyday products like chairs, desks, cars and banknotes more durable.