Own business: laminate production
Every year, the laminate becomes an increasingly popular type of flooring, ahead of the once more popular linoleum in popularity. But laminate production is not for beginners.
In Russia, they learned about laminate not so long ago: it appeared on the market only in the early 90s. The first laminate was of European production, and its prices were very low. Later, the market was filled with Chinese goods, and Russian manufacturers appeared. Competition increased markedly, and the laminate itself became a more mass product. Many types of laminate have appeared; the trends in its production are constantly being improved.
Today, laminate flooring is the second most popular type of flooring produced in Russia after ceramic tiles. According to BusinesStat, in the period from 2014 to 2018, the laminate moved linoleum from second place, and its share is estimated at 28.7%.
According to analysts, the trend of increasing the popularity of the laminate will continue further, and by 2023 its share will increase to 29.3%. In many respects, the success of this material among other floor coverings is explained by its average price segment. Laminate at the same time displaces both more expensive floor coverings (such as parquet) and cheaper ones, for example, linoleum, compared with which it has much greater advantages. However, the production of laminate is a technologically rather complicated process, which is largely explained by the material itself and its structure.
Laminate structure and classes
Laminate is one of the most popular types of flooring along with parquet, linoleum, carpet and ceramic tiles. “Laminated” in Latin means “laminated”, which, in general, reflects the whole essence of the laminate. Laminate has a multilayer structure, made on the principle of a sandwich or a sandwich and consists of at least 4 layers.
HDF-plate is the main carrier layer of high density fiberboard, which is responsible for wear resistance and impact resistance, which provides stable geometry and rigidity.
Lower stabilizing layer, balance paper. This is a synthetic layer, which is necessary to compensate for residual stresses during cooling of the plate after lamination and additional protection of the board from moisture penetrating from below. It is a resin-impregnated kraft paper. The essence of this layer is that it does not allow the laminate to bend.
Decorative layer. Layer of paper with a decorative printed pattern, which is located above the HDF-plate. Thanks to this layer, the laminate also takes the form of wood, tile, marble, porcelain stoneware and any other material.
Protective top coat. The thinnest layer of paper impregnated with resins and included in the composition of the substance to create strength. For example, corundum can be a part of such paper – the second strongest mineral, second only to diamond. When pressed, this paper becomes transparent. This layer prevents the formation of minor damage and scratches.
In addition to the laminate layers, one of its important features is the so-called lock, which allows you to connect the strips without using glue. Well-known manufacturers use locks with CLICK or LOCK locks, which differ in the way the panels are joined.
To make it easier for customers to choose a laminate, the most common classification today (EN 13329) has appeared in Europe, which carries information about the wear resistance and durability of the product. Initially, laminate classes were divided into two groups: for home use (grade 21-23) and for commercial use (grade 31-34). But then the first production came out, and therefore we will not consider them.
Existing laminate classes:
Grade 31 – is operated in rooms with low load: pantries, libraries, bedrooms. In commercial premises, it will last no more than 2-3 years, at home – no more than 12 years.
32nd grade – the most common type of laminate flooring, in public areas with medium traffic it will last 3-5 years. At home (dining rooms, kitchens, corridors) can lie up to 15 years.
Grade 33 – heavy-duty floor operation. In commercial premises, the service life of such a coating will be about 5-6 years, and at home it can last up to 20 years. Attractive exterior lasts as long as possible.
Grade 34 – used in public places with a high load, for example, car dealerships, train stations, airports, dance clubs, where such a laminate can last from 7 to 15 years. At home, it can lie about 30 years.
Classification according to the European norm is carried out on the basis of 18 tests, among which are tests for moisture resistance, scratch resistance, fading, impact resistance and others.
It is impossible not to mention that there is a lot of criticism of the class system, as different states have different quality standards and its indicators. As well as the star system in hotels, laminate classes are a rather conventional concept, which unscrupulous manufacturers and marketers use successfully.