Antimicrobial High Pressure Laminate by Microban®

written by Kimberley Cherrington, International Marketing Manager, Built-in

High Pressure Laminate (HPL) is regarded as one of the most durable decorative materials in the world. It is commonly utilised for products and surfaces that are exposed to frequent and abrasive contact, including countertops, flooring and wall partions.

HPL is produced by impregnating multiple layers of kraft paper with a phenolic or melamine resin. The kraft paper is then bonded to a layer of printed decorative paper via an intensive curing process and subsequently applied to a finished substrate, such as MDF or particle board. The resulting product is a rigid, stable and highly adaptable laminated sheet.

As a result of its placement into high-traffic environments, HPL is often imbued with performance-enhancing properties. These have typically included fire retardancy, moisture resistance, and colour fastness. However, a growing awareness of antibiotic resistance combined with the regular inclusion of HPL in hygiene critical spaces has resulted in an increased demand for antimicrobial high pressure laminate.

As a thermosetting material, HPL has a natural resistance to microbial proliferation. However, these hygienic properties have a limited lifespan and will eventually wear off. In addition to decreased efficacy over time, global biocidal regulations do not permit the marketing of any laminates as being antimicrobial without the prior inclusion of an approved technology.

So, how can you successfully create an antimicrobial high pressure laminate?

Laminates in general are extremely easy to treat - an antimicrobial additive can be seamlessly introduced during the final resin bath of the impregnation process. The result is a laminate surface that has a lasting resistance to harmful microbes, ultimately reducing the risk of cross-contamination and complementing existing hygiene practices.

Microban® offers an array of antimicrobial additives that are suitable for integration into high pressure laminates. Our Silver-based non-leeching antimicrobial treatments have a unique geometry and highly efficient release mechanism, meaning they can react up to 8x faster than other silver antimicrobials without affecting the durability, integrity or aesthetics of the HPL.

If you are a manufacturer of HPL and would like to explore the options for integrating antimicrobial technology, please contact us today. Not only can we provide you with a high-performing additive for laminates, but we can also deliver turnkey solutions including technical development, regulatory assistance, patent counsel and marketing support - getting your antimicrobial high pressure laminate to market in an effective and compliant manner.