a new dimension of quality and design diversity.
All HPL products sold in Europe must meet the specifications in the so-called laminate standard EN 438. This norm specifies more than 20 different product attributes, which guarantee that HPL is able to optimally meet the high requirements placed on the surface material.
The combination of these attributes makes HPL into a unique surface that is not only decorative and customizable, but also resistant in a variety of ways. For instance, tests have shown that HPL panels can endure damage-free twice as much shock loads compared to enameled, solid, foil-coated, or direct-coated surfaces.
The following provides details about 24 benefits that you can take advantage of if you select HPL as building products. In addition, we give you further information in other areas concerning customized design and a wide range of interior and exterior uses.
24 ADVANTAGES AT A GLANCE
- Scratch and abrasion resistance
- Crack and impact resistance, fracture toughness EN ISO 178
- Lightfast and UV resistant EN ISO 4892-3
- Moisture and water-resistant
- Frost and weather resistance EN ISO 4892-2
- Enduring and lasting value
- Resistance to vandalism
- Fireproof and flame-retardant
- Authentic look and wide color variety
- Lifetime service
- Bend-proof and self-bearing EN ISO 178
The premium resins, which are compressed under high pressure and high temperature during manufacturing, result in a high-strength and long-life finish. HPL is therefore particularly suited for high-traffic public areas, such as retail, hotels, offices, educational facilities, healthcare facilities, and other locations where investments are made into enduring and attractive projects.
The high elasticity in combination with tensile and flexural strength guarantee the extraordinary crack and impact resistance of HPL. At the same time, the high-strength and nevertheless flexible attributes guarantee outstanding absorption of applied impact forces. As a result, you should have no concerns e.g. for hail damage with an HPL facade.
In addition, the homogeneity and density of the core give the panel material a high withdrawal force for fasteners. These attributes come ideally into play when we use non- visible fastener systems with screws or undercut anchors.
Since all HPL products feature a melamine resin overlay, the surfaces are not only highly-resistant to scratches and abrasion, but also have outstanding light-resistance. Sunlight has with its high UV light ratio on many materials a degrading effect and cause visible color changes. HPL material in contrast is regarded as lightfast and is not subject to discoloration, even under long-term exposure to sunlight.
Since HPL material has a high molecular density (water vapor diffusion resistance: 17,200 μ), moisture cannot penetrate the material, cannot cause spotting and damage, or degrade the material. Since the material is impregnated with duromer resins, it does not loose its good attribute even when drilled, cut, and edited. Due to its special moisture resistance, the material is ideally suited for rooms such as baths and kitchens, and is the material of choice for exterior applications, for instance façades and balcony balustrades.
HPL panels are extremely weather resistant. Sun, rain, acid rain, or moisture neither degrade the panel finish nor the panel core.
Furthermore, HPL material is indifferent to temperature shocks and do not change their attributes even in hot or low temperatures. The dimensional changes due to temperature and moisture in the range between -20 to +80 degrees and 10-90% relative humidity is approximately 0.4%.
HPL panels are a nonmetallic material and do not corrode. At most, the surface may exhibit minor dulling that does not degrade its utility. There is no peeling of paint layers and no delamination, and the material is also not subject to age-related embrittlement. Infestations or degradation due to termites or other pests is equally not possible. Even mold, algae, and various fungi stand no chance of getting established or anchoring onto HPL panels. The material is resistant to decay and rot-proof.
Due to the favorable combination of flexible strength and elasticity, HPL panels are highly resistant to impact loads. They are therefore outstandingly suited for applications in areas at risk of vandalism. In addition, graffiti can be removed easily and free of residues using suitable solvents without damaging the surface of HPL panels.
HPL material is highly resistant to catching fire and are therefore classified as fireproof. The burn behavior is according building material class B1 (DIN 4102-1) comparable to that of hardwoods. In a fire emergency (above 400 degrees), the material does not soften, melt, or exhibit burning droplets. When a fire breaks out, HPL products maintain their stability over long periods of time and do not explode. They delay flame expansion and significantly prolong the evacuation time. For this reason, HPL material also has governmental approval to be used in building sections with high fire protection requirements, such as emergency exit corridors. Beside the fire-retardant attributes is an another advantage the low smoke generation, as well as the low release of toxic gases pursuant according to F2 class NF F 16101.
Firefighting is accomplished with the same techniques used for other wood-based building materials. All conventional extinguishing agents can be used in this case.
Due to the use of heat-resistant resins, HPL compact panels can withstand temperatures of up to 250 °C without changes or discoloration indication. Contact with cigarette embers and hot pot bottoms are possible without causing damage.
In case of HPL-lamination on core material, it is important to ensure that the heat exposure is kept short, because extended heat pointload can result in a loss of gloss of the decor color, in yellowing, or in surface blisters, and delamination from the core material.
A wide range of colors, decors, and surface textures provide almost limitless design options and give architects and designers generous latitude to implement your potential ideas. The various colors of the decors are authentic and lightfast, and are therefore essentially indistinguishable from the original material.
In addition to standard decors, it is also possible to press in all desired patterns and images, or to design one's own decors.
The superior attributes of HPL material ensure a particularly long service life and outstanding aging attributes. The manufacturer can therefore in good conscience give a 50 year warranty on the material quality and 10 years for UV resistance. If the material dulls after years of use and elevated sun exposure (only evident on darker colors and decors), this has no impact on the material and its mechanical strength.
The high-pressure laminated HPL panels are highly bend-proof due to their multi-layered, merged construction. In accordance with DIN 68874, they have favorable deflection attributes even under long-term loads. The multiple layers and the high pressure applied during manufacturing also guarantee high perforation resistance and exceptionally high strength. The strength and load capacity increase substantially when wooden materials are covered with HPL. Individual HPL compact panels are rated as self bearing starting at thicknesses of 5 mm.
One of the greatest benefits of HPL products are their surfaces and resistance to dirt. The panel surface does not require additional protection, but has a low-maintenance surface due to its closed, pore-free structure. Dirt cannot be embedded due to the smooth and antistatic surfaces. Even graffiti – which is only difficult or even impossible to remove from other materials – can be removed without trace using solvents. Any form of dirt can be easily cleaned by following the technical leaflet and using appropriate cleaning agents without attacking or degrading the surface.
General can all HPL products be cleaned with commercial available agents. Water is sufficient for minor dirt. More intense contamination can be cleaned with soap or laundry liquor. But under no circumstances should be used cleaning agents with abrasive components, paint thinner, or cleaning petrol.
The pore-free surface allows easy cleaning and disinfecting. At the same time, it prevents implantation of undesirable bacteria and viruses. The material is also physiological uncritical, odorless, and suitable for food contact according to EN 1186. HPL therefore meets high hygienic requirements and is particularly suited for food processing areas, but also for sterile rooms, baths, and toilet facility. No other product is so easy to use in decorative surface applications in terms of durability and cleanliness.
HPL can be recycled. After its useful life expiration, it can be easily consumed by fire and does a contribution based on its high calorific value reusable energy.
HPL products therefore meet the requirements for energetic utilization according to §6 of the German recycling act. The conditions for professional combustion processes are ensured in modern, government-approved industrial combustion facilities. The leftover ashes can be used in regulated landfills.
Direct substance recycling is not yet possible. It is possible for HPL oddments to grind finely and used as fillers for various wood-based materials, such as wood-plastic compounds (WPC).
Extreme environment friendly disposal is ensured since the manufacturing of HPL products neither involves the use of foils nor carrier materials from other areas, such as aluminum sheet metal, forex, dibond, etc. In contrast to the mentioned materials – which must be classified as hazardous waste – our HPL products can be incinerated in government-approved industrial incinerators. In accordance with the TA-trash category I No. 571, these HPL products are classified as "miscellaneous cured plastic waste". Category I in this case means that a material is similar to household trash.
HPL-lamination on wood material correspond with combustion material group 6 in accordance with 1. BImSchV. They can be used energetically in all wood-fired facilities with a nominal heat output of at least 30 kW in factories with wood processing and manufacturing.
The following aspects support the sustainability of HPL materials:
- HPL panels consist by more than 60% of paper, which is manufactured from wood – a renewable resource. The wood used in this case predominantly comes from carpentry shops and sawmills and is generated as a waste or byproduct during wood processing. In addition the wood raw materials will be only ordered from suppliers certified to FSC or PEFC standard.
- These standards certify that the wood is obtained in accordance with internationally recognized rules for sustainable forestry.
- 30-40% of the resins used during manufacturing have low emissions and are physiologically nonhazardous. They do not contain polyurea or other pollutants, such as those known from PVC. They also do not contain asbestos or wood preservatives (fungicides, pesticides, etc.), nor traces of sulfur, mercury, or cadmium. Formaldehyde emissions – such as those known from other wood materials – are very low and lie far below the limits permitted by law (< 0.05 ppm iaw. DIN EN 717-1).
- Even the paints used for manufacturing the decors are environmentally compatible since they are completely free of solvents and are also water-soluble.
- Other aspects that characterize HPL as a sustainable material and that were already described in detail above include:
- At the end of its useful life, the material can be easily exploited for thermal processing since it largely consists of cellulose and resins.
- HPL has superior longevity due to its outstanding product characteristics.
- It is environmentally compatible.
HPL is an environmentally neutral surface. Those who use HPL today can be assured that the ecological requirements of tomorrow will be met.
Due to its outstanding attributes, HPL is maintenance-free and requires no special care. The composition of the material ensures that it cannot be attacked by corrosion and moisture, nor by biological factors and oxidation. The dirt-repellent surface features high durability and resistance. The surface attributes require only very little maintenance effort. Accumulated dirt can be effortlessly removed with the help of mild cleaning agents.
Do you as well wish to benefit from the HPL application in your own home? Then do not hesitate to contact us! We would be delighted to advise you.
Processing HPL products does not require special equipment or expensive machinery – conventional wood processing tools are sufficient. It is comparable to processing hardwoods, and can therefore easily be machined with carbide tipped cutting tools.
Moreover, HPL materials are classified as non-hazardous for people and animals in accordance with the hazardous substances ordinance. There is no evidence of toxic or eco-toxic effects originating from HPL. However, as is also the case for wood processing, we recommend the use of personal protective equipment. Find out more about the related details in the "Processing" section.
Yet another advantage of HPL panels is the fast and easy installation, which can be performed at any time independently of weather conditions. Due to the easy processing, the installation is also significantly simplified. Individual elements can be conveniently matched and adjusted to local conditions. Various fastening methods are available for the installation itself:
- Gluing with installation or construction adhesive.
- Attachments based on guide rails, screws, or rivets.
- Invisible installation with undercut anchors. Find out more about the related details in the "Installation" section.
More details may be found in the section "Assembly"
Based on the outstanding application attributes, the flexible and versatile designs based on color, shape, and processing, HPL provides an almost limitless range of applications as a material. With their modern and free artwork surface designs, HPL panels not only attract attention, but also tough by exposure. They have shown to be resistant to deformation, even under extreme climatic conditions, and meet extreme requirements for outdoor and indoor applications. HPL products are particularly popular for outdoor applications as cladding for facades, balconies, and privacy walls – and in indoor applications for furniture manufacturing, for interior improvements, and for store and trade show construction. Find out more about the related details under “"Applications"”.
HPL products are physiologically nonhazardous and facilitate a healthy indoor climate. They also have no toxicological effects or other substantially health hazardous attributes.
HPL panels have a density of 1.35 g / cm3. A attribute that is very significance for noise protection. Mass is known to be important for noise protection, and cannot be replaced otherwise. As a result, enhanced noise protection requirements are met when HPL panels are used as façade cladding. Find out more about the related details under "Benefits" of a rear-ventilated facade.