11 Dec Covering furniture with melamine: the production process step by step
How to cover pieces of furniture with melamine to achieve a distinctive touch. Tacon Decor took part in the television programme “Hecho en Castilla y Leon”, where they explained, step by step, the production process in their factory in Burgos.
The lamination service is for furniture, floors, doors and many other applications which you will find out about below.
The report explains the production process of the paper used to cover many pieces of furniture and other decorative surfaces, such as furniture coverings. Tacon Decor was the first Spanish company to set out in the laminate sector.
It’s what we would commonly understand as “high-performance synthetic wood”, says the Radio Televisión Castilla y León presenter when she introduces the company. She also gives some facts: “50 years in growth, a presence in 50 countries, over 70 employees and a production output of over 7 million square metres each year”.
Covering furniture with melamine which imitates materials
The laminates can imitate any material:
- digital photography
It can be placed on any surface which is more or less sturdy, it sticks on and gives them different finishes
Vicente J. Gil, Managing Director at Tacon Decor, explains how they take advantage of the resistance of melamine: “you can put it in any environment and it won’t wear down or get scratched”
This service is especially useful for manufacturers of:
- furniture accessories
Covering furniture with melamine is one of the most advanced techniques in the coverings sector.
Digital printing in a laminate company
The company originated 50 years ago in the warehouses of Taglosa where it began manufacturing panels.
Later, a new department “for increased added value applying a decorative laminate to the surface” was created, explains Manuel González, from the Digital Department.
“We have a zenith scanner which scans photographs, stone or natural wood in order to achieve a much more life-like effect”, adds the specialist, who highlights digital printing as an innovative service in a laminate company like Tacon Decor.
This way, photographs are reproduced and materials are imitated. First, there’s a consultation with the client to find out what they need. Then, the request is checked against the extensive database. Finally, work begins in order to obtain the tones required for the project.
It works in the following way: the printer feeds the paper at a speed of 75 metres per minute. It exerts positive pressure to avoid dust from the street entering, the humidity is above 50% so that there are no changes during the printing and the colours don’t vary.
The production process of the laminates
The process for manufacturing laminates, which are then used to cover furniture with melamine, is very complex. It differs according to whether the finish is for doors, floors, skirting boards, furniture or other purposes. In spite of this complexity, José Miguel de la Iglesia, Manager of Research and Development, explained the process for Castilla y León television.
He explained that the basis of this production process is paper. The R&D allows chemical properties to be applied which make it resistant to cleaning, heat, blows and general use.
The paper is soaked in a chemical mixture and then left to dry. Then, different layers are applied depending on the desired result, to achieve a greater or lesser degree of thickness. “In terms of the chemicals, we use melamine resins, urea resins, phenolic resins, formalin…”, lists De la Iglesia.
The machinery that Tacon Decor uses can be seen in the video. The process for removing the air which is trapped inside the paper fibres is also shown. All of the paper fibres are filled with resin to give it more consistency. “That way we avoid tears”, he explained to the viewers.
Then, the product is moved to furnaces of different temperatures, to cool it or to heat it up. This is where the product solidifies. The water is removed in a controlled manner to avoid bubbles and to achieve a completely smooth surface. This way, any tearing of the laminate is avoided with adhesive paper. Different finishes, depending on where the furniture is going to be covered with melamine, are produced in the same way.
End result with guarantees
The end result should come with guarantees. The material will cover areas which are very hard-wearing, such as furniture, the floor, doors, etc. For this reason, the result has to be resistant, watertight, flexible and durable over time.
Leonor García, Laboratory Manager, gives a demonstration of how they verify “thickness, flexibility, scratches, wear on the surface and that it is within the standards”.
Reference is also made to the sealant, which means that the laminate can come into contact with water. The research and development guarantees a very resistant result.
Controlled lacquering is used to attain the final optimal effect with different levels of sheen or matt, to suit the client’s demands. When covering furniture with melamine, you have to consider how you will clean them. Therefore, antibacterial technology facilitates its subsequent treatment.
The most difficult property to achieve is flexibility, for application in mouldings, for example. “We play with the production resins here”, demonstrates García.
As well as complying with the standards, the end result also has the texture of the material that it imitates. All of this, producing between 25 and 30 metres per minute.
Tacon Decor has a range of between 500 and 600 designs of decorative coatings. Covering furniture with melamine is just one of the multiple applications that you can find among our decorative solutions.
The evolution of the sector tends more and more towards customisation. The reporter joked about being able to put one of her favourite photographs on the doors of a wardrobe. She’s not mistaken. Many companies need to insert their logo onto their office furniture, a restaurant chain or any other space. Find out about this project and others.