Melamine is everywhere

It’s always a lot of fun when my four adult children and their partners visit my wife and me. I enjoy cooking for the whole crew. On one recent occasion, one of the group said “I’ve never actually seen melamine. What’s it look like?” I had to laugh, because the chance of anyone getting through the day without seeing melamine is zero. Melamine is truly everywhere. But he was right: we don’t see melamine around us in its raw form, as a white powder. It is an invisible super binder that turns wood and many other materials into strong and durable products. OCI’s melamine is 50 years old, still full of life, and with eyes fixed firmly on the future. The world of melamine and its end products is constantly in flux. The growing world population is increasing the demand for furniture and floors, and therefore for melamine. We all want attractive interiors reflecting the latest design trends, but we also want to manage our forests responsibly. combination makes it easier to keep meeting the rising global demand for wood in construction and furniture, not just today but in the future as well. The combination of melamine and wood generates an enormous variety of products that are both durable and stylish. This solid melamine makes possible and why it’s so important to us, as consumers, and to architects, interior designers and product designers. This Special will give you a good idea of all the things that After reading it, I hope you will be as enthusiastic about melamine as we are! Enjoy!

‘‘ Melamine is everywhere! Tim Scheerhoorn Director Melamine & Energy Business OCI Nitrogen

CONTENTS 6 DESIGN FOR ALL Thanks to melamine, vintage furniture often retains its value and is found in excellent condition, even though it may only be MDF with a layer of paper. 13 WOOD FOR ALL We must deal sparingly with wood. That’s why we use and recycle every last wood chip. 16 MELAMINE IS EVERYWHERE ALMOST every use of melamine at a glance. 13 10 A WINNING TEAM Melamine resin and decor paper is a winning combination. Dr. Matthias Krull of Munksjö Decor tells us about the ultimate union between paper and wood panels. 10 4 melamine

colofon Melamine is published by van OCI Nitrogen BV Mijnweg 1, 6167 AC Geleen Editor in chief Elisabeth Koot Editorial team Elisabeth Koot Joyce Stewart Photography Ilse Leijtens Concept, design, layout 18 24 18 ALL ABOUT ELEGANT, PRACTICAL DESIGN When René Holten pictures the first 3D images of a new design in his mind, he immediately thinks about the versatility and affordability of the materials he intends to use. 24 WE CAN BUILD ANYTHING WITH MELAMINE Jeroen Slangen and Peter Geraedts, two men who are passionate about creating attractive interiors. studioZebravink Printing Drukkerij Econoom Translation Balance2 With thanks to Peter Geraedts René Holten Dr. Matthias Krull Jeroen Slangen melamine 5

Design for all The epitome of classic design: Vitra’s Eames Lounge Chair. The seat and back are made of molded, veneered plywood. Optimism and a desire for innovation were important drivers for the post-war Mid-Century Modernist movement. After WWII architects, interior designers and product designers wanted their designs to contribute to social progress and to building a better society in the most literal sense. It was a period of clean lines, light interiors and functionality. The Mid-Century Modernists made eager use of the experimental technologies and new materials that had emerged from the war, including new ways of using steel and plywood. 6 melamine

Concrete, steel and laminated panels could be combined in endless ways. Big-name designers like Cees Braakman, Charles & Ray Eames, Arne Jacobsen and Pierre Paulin designed furniture for Pastoe, Vitra, Knoll, Artifort and other companies. They stirred up a desire in ordinary people for light and space, especially during the post-war years when they longed to say farewell to a dark period of history and, at the same time, to their somber, ponderous interiors. These modern and versatile materials also gave leading architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe enormous freedom. A new era had dawned. The same period brought forth iconic dishware. During the Second World War, the U.S. army used melamine dishware and utensils because they were lightweight, cheap and virtually indestructible. Airlines and households quickly embraced the new material for the same reasons. These vintage items remain wildly popular and are usually still in good condition, long after they were made. The influence of this period is still evident in interiors today and industrial-scale production has made new designs affordable for all. We can still buy vintage furniture from the mid-20th century, as if it is “as good as new.” The interplay of quality and timeless design holds its value and we sometimes have to dig deep in our pockets for vintage both dishware and furniture, even if it is made of MDF with a decorative paper surface. Pastoe’s vintage cabinets of the Fifties and Sixties still look brand-new, thanks to melamine. melamine 7

WHAT IS MELAMINE? It’s important to distinguish between pure melamine and the name “melamine” as popularly used to describe end products that have melamine as an ingredient. The product melamine is a chemical substance, a white crystalline powder. Most melamine is used in the wood-processing industry to produce wood panels, laminates and furniture. It is also used in thermoset plastics, flame retardant flexible foams and coatings, paper, textiles, concrete and many other products. People now use the word “melamine” as a synonym for various end products, for example kitchen worktops, HDF or its decorative surface. Many people also call durable camping dishware “melamine.” TWO KEY REASONS TO USE MELAMINE 1 2 8 melamine Firstly, it hardens a product, making it scratchproof, chemical-resistant and water-repellent. Melamine molecules have extremely strong crosslinking properties and bond securely with other molecules; pressure and heat transform a liquid resin into a very rigid solid structure in which the pure melamine bonds with other raw materials. Secondly, melamine is non-flammable and can prevent or retard fire.

ADHESIVES for pressing wood panels and fiberboard, breathing new life into wood waste RESIN for pressing decorative surfaces onto floor and furniture laminates RESIN for thermoset plastics in kitchenware, electronics and so on RESIN for producing high-end coatings for the automotive industry as a FLAME RETARDANT in flexible foams for furniture and mattresses as a BLOWING AGENT in intumescent coatings 5% 8% 7% 45% 30% Adhesive for pressing wood panels and fiberboard Resin for decorative floor- and furniture laminates Thermoset plastics in kitchenware and electronics Coatings for the automotive industry Flame retardant steel coatings and flexibele foams Other applications like concrete, textiles, leather etc. 5% melamine 9 MELAMINE POWDER IS ADDED TO

Decor paper and melamine resin: a winning team DR. MATTHIAS KRULL , MUNKSJÖ DECOR EXPLAINS What would our interior look like without decor paper? Boring, bare, unfinished? We would not appreciate a barefaced wood-panel, so thankfully there are hundreds of designs of decor paper from which we can choose the appearance of our furniture. In combination with melamine resins, decor paper makes interior designs attractive, scratch resistant and water resistant. This winning combination offers affordable laminate flooring, kitchens, cabinets and interiors. “In a world where solid wood is literally a precious commodity, it is necessary to make optimal use of renewable raw materials. This is something we are happy to contribute towards.” says Dr. Matthias Krull, Sales Director at Munksjö Decor. 10 melamine

What would our interior look like without decor paper? Dr. Matthias Krull is a respected expert in the wood industry. He studied Wood Science and Technology at Hamburg University and at Berkeley (University of California). He has been working in this field for over twenty years and has been collecting relevant data on the market for the same period of time. “This industry has always fascinated me. When I first started working at Munksjö, I mainly studied the technical aspects of decor paper. After that, I was determined to become a sales man. I wanted to be in direct contact with the global market. To discuss and exchange ideas with other market experts in order to contribute to shaping and developing the industry further.” A winning team Since the strongly increased popularity of laminate flooring in the nineties, the wood-based panel industry has developed considerably. The combination of melamine resin and decor paper is invaluable. “As a result of this combination, endless opportunities to create affordable interiors exist. Resins based on melamine are the ultimate connector of our decor paper with wood panels. Together we create a sustainable wood industry with a strong support to the furniture and laminate flooring manufacturers through a the surface, which is attractive, durable and resistant to heat and scratching. A bright future You will find decorative surfaces in almost all kitchens, offices, living rooms and bedrooms. “You can definitely say we are operating in a mature market but nevertheless I expect an increase in demand for our products in the future. This has everything to do with demographic trends. Households are getting smaller, resulting in more houses to decorate. The massive migration of people to the city also has a positive impact on our business. Furthermore, prosperity in Europe is increasing. Regarding their interior, people have much more need for change compared to former times,” Dr. Matthias Krull outlines the developments. melamine 11

Wood for all I would spend the whole day outdoors as a child. I caught tadpoles in a stream, build forts in the woods, and climb tall trees. High up in the branches, it was both quiet and exciting. I thought I could hear the twigs growing. Even now, the scent of the forest takes me back to that carefree time and sense of freedom. I now feel a profound sense of freedom in my work as a chemist. I travel a lot, study and give chemistry lessons to children who are learning about the natural sciences for the first time. Sometimes a pupil tells me that he finds the word “chemical” a little frightening. When I explain that the growth of a tree is also a chemical process, I capture their attention. The tree gives me a nice excuse for a thought provoking exercise. “Look at the furniture in this classroom. 128 melamine All of it is made of wood fiber and synthetic resin, usually melamine resin. Imagine that we had to make all that furniture from real wood. Not fiber, but entire planks of solid wood. How much wood do you think you would need and how many extra trees would it take?” Even the youngest child appreciates how difficult this becomes . The funny thing is that some of the children brought up this topic again during today’s lesson. Having looked around their home, gym, snack bar, they soon agreed: there simply are not enough trees to make everything that people want. The most interesting comment came from eightyear-old Mick: “But with resin there is sufficient wood for everyone.” Alex chemist and tree-hugger

Nothing is as personal as your own home. That’s why it will be furnished to your own taste, beauty and affordability with furnishings that will be long lasting and representing a socially responsible choice. Our world is changing. Almost half of the Earth’s forests have vanished and more are disappearing every year. Wood is growing scarce, and therefore we must be economical in our use of it. Because of the reduced availability of solid wood, most furniture is now made of wood panels. The wood used in these panels comes from tree plantations that are constantly being replanted for wood production purposes. Literally every fiber of a tree is used in the manufacture of wood panels, and reused in the form of wood waste, sawdust, and recycled panels, at times blended with a small percentage of agricultural fibers like bagasse or bamboo. There are many different types of panels and these are used in a variety of applications. Adding a lovely decorative surface to them creates an endless range of possibilities. One of the most satisfying aspects of using wood panels is the attractive decorative surface that covers what is basically waste wood, making the panel both tasteful and sustainable, ensuring that there is sufficient wood for all. THE ECOLOGICAL SIDE The European wood panel industry repeatedly uses recycled materials to delay the final stage, incineration, until as late as possible. Why is that? A tree absorbs and stores carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which is good for the ecology. If you make tables from wood, the carbon dioxide remains in the table but when the table is incinerated, the stored carbon dioxide is released back into the atmosphere. Almost all wood panels sold at hardware stores have either FSC or PEFC certification. That means the panels are made of wood from sustainably managed forests. Wood panels produced in Europe and/or destined for the European market bear the CE marking. melamine 13

Tip-top coatings Melamine is impor Used in top coatings, it keeps car paint scratchpr and colourfast and gives it that glossy shine Melamine was first used in coatings in around 1950, when scientists discovered its superlative molecular binding properties. Without going into a whole technical explanation, let’s just say that melamine brings out the best in all the raw materials that go into the coating. The result is a highly durable enamel that offers the vehicle the ultimate in protection. Acid rain, bird droppings, the car wash… there’s nothing it can’t withstand. The quality of top coatings has improved greatly over time. Each generation is thinner than the last while offering cars the same level of protection. Melamine fits in perfectly with this trend. The quality and environmental demands made on cars, and on their coatings, are getting stricter all the time. Melamine is also used to bind waterborne, environmentally friendly automotive paints. It ensures an outstanding result without the use of harmful solvents. 14 melamine

WHERE CAN YOU FIND FLAME RETARDANT FLEXIBLE FOAMS? Upholstery and mattresses (also memory foam) at home and in public places like hospitals, cinemas etc. Insulation in buildings Automotive and aviation industry: cars, busses, airplanes Public transport like railway and metro Fire under contro The steel construction of the Liège-Guillemins railway station has an intumescent coating Intumescent coatings The function of melamine used in intumescent coatings is different to that used in automotive coatings (see page 14). Manufacturers of intumescent coatings use melamine powder as a blowing agent. If fire breaks out, heat causes the coating to swell and form an insulating char layer that protects the underlying steel substrate for up to 90 or 120 minutes. Thus it prolongs time people have to escape from e.g. parking garages, hotels, airports, stadiums and other structures. An additional reason for using these coatings is that they are halogen-free. Some halogen-containing fire retardants are known to be harmful to our health and the environment. Flexible foam In the United Kingdom and Ireland, flexible polyurethane foam used in furniture and mattresses must be fire-retardant by law. When in contact with fire from e.g. a candle or a cigarette, melamine releases a non-flammable gas that starves the fire of oxygen and prevents the foam from catching fire. This way melamine helps to prevent fire from spreading rapidly, give people more time to escape and limit any damage. Unfortunately, other European countries have not followed this example of making fire-retardant furniture and mattresses mandatory. insulating char layer intumescent coating steel beam 2000 10000 heat melamine 15 image: VTwonen

Melamine is everywhere… Money, money, money Melamine resin improves the durability of bank notes and gives them their distinctive feel. Crispy snacks A thin clear melamine-film keeps food fresh for longer. Nice colour Melamine is used as an agent in the process of dyeing soft leathers. Home sweet home In this house you find melamine in the wallpaper, the laminate floor, the wall socket, the kitchen worktop, the cot, the kitchen table, the lights, the coffee table, the bedside tables, the flame retardant coloured bunting, the wall panels, the plywood antler on the wall, the flame retardant foam in the mattress and the couch, the clothing rack and the kitchen chairs. Fresh salad Refreshing Melamine makes tableware super strong. High gloss and scratch resistance, not only for your car coating. It’s magic Mirror, mirror… Powerful cleaning with just water is possible with the melamine ‘magic sponge’ (the white part). Cosmetics like foundation, lipstick and eyeliner are made soft and shiny through a combination of melamine and boron. 16 melamine

…also here Scratch and sniff Advertisements or packaging are sometimes treated with fragrant coatings. Melamine resins help to keep the odour particles ‘wrapped’ until the surface is scratched. The same technology is used in laundry detergents, cleaning products and cosmetics. Treatment of warts Melamine foam sponge applicators are apparently better for the treatment of warts. And also in… clear food packaging, whiteboards, acoustic melamine foam, table tennis tables, skateboard parks, melamine cups and plates, maps, wrinkle-free clothes, yellow pigment for coatings, inks and plastics, durable outdoor wall cladding for fascia and dormer windows, squash courts, moisture resistant ceiling tiles, car tyres, transmission belts, laptops, fridges, heat resistant buttons for army- and workwear, car coatings, concrete, panhandles, kitchen cabinets, bathroom interiors, doors, basketball boards … Etcetera, etcetera! melamine 17

All about elegant, practical design DESIGNER RENÉ HOLTEN SHARES HIS THOUGHTS ABOUT THE DESIGN PROCESS René Holten has produced many outstanding designs in his day, including several award-winning ones. For example, in 1998 he received the award for best Dutch furniture design for his DoDo chair. He was presented with the Good Industrial Design Award for his Libel, Lotus and Low Lotus chairs. In 2016 he won the prestigious Red Dot Award for his Hammock double bath and Kaldur tap. The Maastricht-based designer often uses synthetic – e.g. melamine – resin in his designs. “The great thing about melamine resin is its versatility and affordability. Like Bauhaus, one of my goals as a designer is to create elegant, practical designs for everyone.” René Holten has his own design studio and works for such brands such as Artifort, Pullman, Mosa and Clou. “It wasn’t obvious that I was going to be a designer. My parents had other plans for me and didn’t see me entering a creative profession. So I started out studying business. Later, I decided to pursue my own dreams after all. I went to the Maastricht Academy of Art and then to the Design Academy in Eindhoven. My first job was as an architectural designer working for the Dutch architect Wiel Arets for many years, from whom I learned a lot. I also spent about seven years at Artifort as head of product development. My studio still does a lot of work for the Artifort brand.” The enormous power of visualization René Holten has created many exceptional products in his career. 18 melamine The designs often first appear in his mind’s eye. He visualizes everything. “I see the designs in 3D, down to the smallest detail. I have my best ideas while I’m jogging. “I have my best ideas while I’m jogging.” I go into overdrive then and work out all the details right away. I see the materials, think about the best production techniques and even start calculating prices. It’s ideal for me to be able to see the designs so clearly in my mind. Fortunately, one of my staff can turn my designs into working plans.” The tinkerer in René Holten As clearly as René Holten can visualize his designs while walking or jogging, what he wants most at the end of the design process is to feel the product with his own hands. “That’s when I feel what needs to happen to complete a creation. My family often finds me messing around with designs, materials and scale models at home. Someone once asked my son what kind of work I did. He said I was a tinkerer.” A sea of materials René zooms in on the materials, one of the important basic elements of product development. “As a designer, I basically have access to a vast range of materials. I want to use those that are best suited to the design. I take as many factors as possible into account.

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“We should leave the Earth cleaner, better and lovelier.” 20 melamine If money is no object, then a solid wooden table is a wonderful option, for example. I have a wooden table myself, and I intend to keep using it for a long time. In my view, that makes it a very defensible choice. But imagine that I’m designing chairs and tables for a large target group. It’s much smarter then to use melamine-based materials in that case. So I’m constantly looking for the ideal materials for my designs.” Motivated by sustainability Sustainability plays an important role in René Holten’s work, and it always has. What is his philosophy? “I believe that we should try to leave behind an Earth that is cleaner, better and lovelier than we found it. As a designer, I am conscious of my responsibilities in that regard. That doesn’t mean that I’m against using solid wood. I have no problem felling an old beech tree if we create

products from it that have a long life cycle. No question that that’s a sustainable approach. I also believe in technological progress. Tree plantations are there for a reason. Synthetic resins make it possible for us to use every last fiber of every last bit of wood, giving us many lovely and affordable materials. I do question the extent to which melamine panels can be recycled, however. It’s an interesting issue for which we need to find the right solutions in the future.” The added value of melamine The designer often has his designs made from materials bonded with synthetic resin, purely because they are so versatile. “I have my reasons for doing this. As I said earlier, synthetic resin has made design affordable for a large target group. It also allows us to make strong, long-lasting products that maintain their shape and color and are also waterproof.” What products has the designer made of melamine? The Hammock series for Clou and many of his furniture designs for Artifort. “I’ve designed a huge number of products in my day and I’m sure many more of them contain melamine than I’m remembering right now,” he laughs. melamine 21

Melamine facts MELAMINE TO LIMIT EMISSIONS Wood panels are an important outlet for melamine. With formaldehyde, melamine reacts to form the basis for an (MF) adhesive that is used to press the panels. Formaldehyde is a natural substance, emitted by trees, plants and people, but breathing in too much can be unhealthy. This is why wood panels are subject to rules that restrict the free emission of formaldehyde. By using more melamine in the manufacture of wood panel, free formaldehyde is fixed in the panel and the emission levels become comparable to the natural emission values of trees and plants. Tips There are three classes of wood panels: E1, E2 and E3 (according to European standard EN 120). Class E1 panels release the least amount of free formaldehyde and there fore have the lowest emission levels. Other quality marks include KOMO in the Netherlands or TÜV. Be sure to ventilate and air out a new building before moving in, but also after having new furniture delivered or after using paint or adhesives in the home. Never smoke inside the home; tobacco smoke contains a large amount of formaldehyde. ? ?? 22 melamine RECYCLING WOOD PANELS In the article on pages 18-21, designer René Holten questions whether wood panels can be recycled. Particle board is by far the most common type of wood panel produced in Europe. Some 30% of a particle board consists of recycled wood, including also post-consumer wood panels. 90% of Italian particle board consists of recycled wood, while Greek particle board has 0%. These figures originate from the European Panel Federation (EPF), the association of wood panel producers. They aim to play a serious role in the circular economy, not least because they wish to ensure the survival of their business. The wood shortage means that they must focus increasingly on recycling. Safety of melamine ? The product melamine – a white powder – is an industrial chemical that is classified as safe to work with, use and store. Once the powder has been used to create an end product, it no longer exists in its original physical form. In most applications, melamine first reacts with other raw materials and turns into a liquid resin. It then “crosslinks” under pressure and heat to form a new product: a solid adhesive, resin or plastic. The name “melamine” has thus become synonymous with such products as wood panels and tableware. As consumers, we do not have any contact with the original chemical substance melamine.

FROM FIBER TO FLOOR A wood panel is basically a simple product. It consists of a combination of wood fiber and adhesive. Wood panels are used in thousands of products in the construction industry, from flooring to interior fixtures and furniture. Laminating a wood panel with a decorative foil, paper or veneer increases its versatility enormously. The panel Furniture panels can be made of wood (wood chips, pulp or sawdust), paper (pulp or layers), bamboo, plaster or cork. For example, particle board, plywood, MDF and OSB are largely made of wood. They are used mainly in construction and to create floors, interiors and furniture. The inside of cupboards or other pieces of furniture is often white. This “core” is usually made of MDF or particle board finished on the outside with a protective surface. That decorative surface is nothing more than paper with a protective overlay of melamine resin. In theory, any random print can be used to enliven this decorative surface. The decorative surface We can give a furniture panel a decorative surface by laminating it with foil, paper or veneer or by applying a coat of paint or varnish. Particle board, for example, can be combined with décor paper. Before a decorative motif is printed on the paper, resin is added to make it stronger. In theory, any print is possible, from a wood print to a photograph. Current technologies can cope with high-resolution designs, matte and glossy surfaces, and smooth or rough texturing that has the feel of “real” wood. The décor paper is pressed onto the panel under high pressure and heat, and then finished off with a protective overlay. And there you have it… a laminate floor. High Pressure Laminate (or HPL as it is known) is exceptionally strong and durable. Its core is not made of wood but is made of paper whilst the decorative surface (containing melamine resin) makes HPL scratchproof, acid-proof and heat-resistant. In addition to all the available motifs, texturing can also be pressed onto the surface. HPL is mainly used in high-end flooring and furniture as well as in whiteboards. Outdoors, HPL is mainly used in fascia boards and dormer windows. Transparant overlay Decorative layer MDF Stability layer Sound-absorbing layer melamine 23

Peter Geraedts (left) and Jeroen Slangen 24 melamine

We can build anyting with melamine INTERIOR CONSTRUCTION SPECIALISTS JEROEN SLANGEN AND PETER GERAEDTS Customers who visit the offices of Slangen Interieurbouw in Maastricht can view and touch the materials that will go into making their new interior. “We’re so used to it in our everyday interior construction work that we don’t even think about it. But when I look around this room, I realize that almost all the materials here contain melamine,” says Jeroen Slangen, who runs the successful firm along with interior architect Peter Geraedts. Slangen Interieurbouw began building interiors for private customers and the business market in 1997. It also accepts frequent commissions from architectural firms, who ask the Maastricht-based company to produce a complete design. “The right materials play a crucial role in turning our customers’ wishes into appealing interiors,” says Peter Geraedts. “Melamine is indispensable in our profession. We make the loveliest, most practical and versatile interiors with it.” Jeroen Slangen and Peter Geraedts demonstrate what they mean with a piece of wood. “This is a melamine panel produced by an Italian supplier. It looks just like real wood. You can even feel the wood grain,” says Peter Geraedts. “Décor paper has evolved through the years,” adds Jeroen Slangen, “giving MDF, plywood and particle board fantastic decorative surfaces. In some cases it’s impossible to tell the difference between a panel and real wood. I’m an expert, and even I have to look closely. The new printing techniques are fantastic as well. They allow us to create virtually every ambience.” The creative process Slangen started out as a furniture maker and enjoys the creative process. “Alas I don’t get around to making furniture myself anymore, but it gives me a buzz that together we’ve created something new by the end of the day.” Peter Geraedts adds “as an interior architect, I want to turn my customers’ wishes into reality. By satisfying everyone’s requirements you would not think I have a personal signature as a designer. So when people tell me that they recognize an interior as my work, I am surprised with the compliment.” Craftsmanship redefined The firm is all about passion, craftsmanship, quality and customization. “It’s interesting how craftsmanship and quality have been redefined over the course of time. Before, interior architects generally worked with solid wood. In the past wood stood for craftsmanship but today, melamine has become the standard and wood-based panels are now of excellent quality. They don’t wear out, they retain their shape and color, they’re versatile and affordable. Almost everything that we build has melamine as its base. In interiors, the inside work is always made of melamine melamine 25

anyway, but we also use melamine resin for the finish, giving it a wear-resistant decorative surface,” explains Jeroen Slangen. Exclusive design It is a fallacy that melamine is used mainly to produce “cheap” products. In fact, it is also used in exclusive interiors and furnishings. Françoise Oostwegel’s Fyrsta chair is a good example. “It’s made of molded plywood,” says Jeroen. “It’s a unique chair for which we’ve created a special mold. The chair was presented during Dutch Design Week and it generated a lot of interest. As furniture makers that was very flattering for us. It shows us how much you can do with melamine and it gives us enormous freedom as interior construction specialists. We can build absolutely anything we want with it.” 26 melamine

Indes tructible Melamine resin is a super-adhesive, making it an ideal ingredient in thermosets for plastics, also known as molding powders. Pigment can be added to the melamine resin before the molding process begins. The mixture is then molded under heat and high pressure into a stable shape, for example a dish. Once the resin has hardened, the product is virtually indestructible. Also it can no longer be melted back into its original shape. Melamine dishware is heat-resistant and can cope with temperatures of up to 70 degrees Celsius. It is not microwave-safe, however. As melamine absorbs the energy of microwaves, melamine dishware will become porous and fragile if heated in a microwave oven. The heat-resistant properties of melamine resin also make it a perfect material for buttons on firefighting uniforms, electrical devices, plugs, and pot and pan handles. melamine 27 image: RICE

image: RICE

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