In 1907 the first patent was granted to the Belgian chemist Leo H. Baekeland for a product type with
the commercial name “Bakelite”: A mixture of wood flour or fibres with phenol resins could be
pressed in metal forms and simultaneously cured by heat.
In flat form produced as sheet material by impregnating paper with phenol formaldehyde resin and
cured between steel plates, it became a replacement for mica as carrier for electrical components in
consumer products of the 1920’s such as radios and switchboards.
First melamine formaldehyde reactions were explored in 1906 and made commercially during the
1930’s by different companies.
The development of decorative papers with a high absorption for melamine formaldehyde resins was
the basic step to a decorative laminate during the 1940’s.
A combination of phenol resin impregnated Kraft paper with a lightfast and coloured melamine resin
impregnated decorative paper on top pressed together and cured under heat had an rapid devel
opment during the 1950’s:
Some key-developments of HPL for special market segments are:
Heat resistance or cigarette-proof quality with an inlay of aluminium foil for heat transfer.
Self supporting HPL or compact HPL in thickness between 2 and 30 mm.
Fire retardant HPL for transport and wall cladding.
HPL with highly textured surfaces.
Electrostatic dissipative laminates for antistatic applications.
Wear resistant laminates for counter tops and domestic flooring systems.
Outdoor HPL compact laminates with weather-resistant surface protection.
HPL with metal surfaces.
HPL with wood veneer surfaces.
HPL with chemical resistant surfaces.
Continuously pressed high pressure laminates.
Compact laminates with alternative core materials.
Translucent HPL.5 An Introduction to Manufacturing and Material Types
Fluorescent effect HPL
Digital decor prints.
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