LEADING WITH LAMINATES
Architect and Interiors India|February 2021
HIGH PRESSURE LAMINATES ARE EXTERIOR GRADE LAMINATES EXTENSIVELY USED AS A CLADDING MATERIAL AND MORE
BINDU GOPAL RAO

High Pressure Laminates (HPL) are a superior version of regular laminates. Greater in thickness, it also comes along with a substrate and has numerous applications. Naturally, both vendors and architects are using them in myriad ways in architecture and interiors.

THE CONCEPT

High Pressure Laminates are exterior grade laminates. These are extensively used as a cladding material. Being an engineered product, HPL provides perfection. With manageable attributes, this material is quick and easy to work with.

Apart from cladding, HPL can also be used for fabricating wardrobe and kitchen cabinets. HPL can prove to be a handy and functional material if used smartly. Swapna Bandekar, designer, Studio Five Partners explains, “we hear high-pressure laminate compared to melamine. Technically, melamine is a chemical used in both HPL and low pressure laminates (LPL).

The special consistency and the production process under high pressure gives HPL an outstanding product feature.” A successor of the original plastic laminate, it is produced by pressing thin sheets of paper or resin together. It is a consolidation of 6-8 layers of kraft paper, which are glued together and bonded under high pressure and heat; resulting in a very robust product. The overlay paper reduces abrasion and scratch while the decorative paper provides it with the required visual appeal.

HPL offers immense flexibility to mold the design into new dimensions, therefore is a preferred choice of architects and interior designers. “HPL is used to elevate the aesthetics of different spaces and lend a premium appeal while ensuring high safety standards. AFX laminates from the house of Greenlam Laminates’ collection comprises of HPL sheets that are fingerprint resistant, low maintenance, do not need a rigorous cleaning procedure and help in keeping surfaces hygienic. Regular laminates tend to fade over time, however, HPL can also be used for exterior cladding as it is stable to light and immune to UV rays which preserve its original homogenous tone. Greenlam’s HPL sheets are resistant to dry heat at 180°C, immersion in boiling water, cracking, scratching, staining, color change, cigarette burns and steam. These laminates are imbibed with low heat conduction which sustains surface temperature, i.e., neither get too cold during winter nor too hot during summer,” says Parul Mittal, director, Greenlam Industries Ltd.

ADVANTAGE FACTOR

HPL can be used as a cladding material for buildings. These are sturdy, water-proof, and termite-proof. Another advantage HPL has over laminates is, that it can directly be cladded onto a surface, whereas laminates must be pressed on the ply first. HPL can be used for facades, kitchens, libraries, wardrobes, wall paneling and can even be used on doors, granting a unique texture and detailing,” says Sumit Dhawan, founder & principal architect at Cityspace’ 82 Architects. Regular laminates require a substrate to be applied onto.

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