Properly manufactured Thermofoil doors will not delaminate without exposure to heat. To determine if a door has a good bond and the glue line was activated simply pull a part from production and do a pull test. In a pull test you cut a triangle shaped amount and pull the vinyl off the corner of the door. If the bond is good you will notice that there will be fibers on the film and also it will be very difficult to pull off the vinyl as pliers will need to be used.
If you are pulling heavy fibers then you almost certainly will pass heat tests. If you are not pulling heavy fibers you may need to give extra spray to the sides of the door or increase heat or preheat to give total heat exposure to fully bond the glue line.
So what about heat delamination?
The two most common places of delamination from heat are directly above a tea kettle or beside a self cleaning oven. Keep in mind that these temperatures are so hot that they will strip lacquer off wood doors too however with thermofoil its more noticeable because the vinyl will actually shrink and will expose the MDF. This is not a defect in the door. Tea kettles should be pulled out from under the upper cabinets and the doors should be hinged away from the oven during self cleaning mode with the doors open and drawers open during self cleaning operation. One other helpful tip is to have your cabinet manufacturer use a heat shield next to ovens.
As a thermofoil door manufacturer how do you test your heat resistance?
Firstly, a 1 part glues resistance is typically 150 to 175 degrees F and for a 2 part glue 170 to 200 degrees. Simply heat an oven up to 150F for one hour and then raise the temperature by 5 degrees until failure or delamination occurs. You will notice the delamination as the vinyl will pull up revealing the mdf. If your oven doesn't go that low simply utilize a digital thermometer and run the cord beside the part. Heat your oven on low and crack the door if necessary to keep the temp at 150 and raise at intervals to get the highest temp reached before delamination occurred. You may also use heat strips on your test to ensure accuracy of the highest temp reached.
The proper machine to professionally test is a Blue M lab heat test machine however they are quite expensive. One other tip is to ask your glue supplier to run a heat test on your parts.
I hope that this information is useful and remember that the most important thing is to purchase your components from a reliable producer in which you have a good relationship.
Retailers have faced a mounting challenge since the massive success of Amazon has cut in-store sales dramatically. It has led many at the top of national chains to assess the way they are doing business. One area in particular that must be addressed to keep customers coming back is store design and decor. You can imagine that putting money into something that isn’t immediately affecting the bottom line is a tough pill to swallow, so in most cases that I have seen, maintaining a reasonable budget is very important. However, the last thing retail chains want is something that is cheap and won’t last. They want sustainable, durable, and cost effective.
To decide where to go with this decision, it is first important to understand where we’ve been with interior décor in retail in general. Keeping in theme with needing a value-engineered solution, retailers have been shying away from real stones, leathers, and woods for years. The solution, as it seemed, was high pressure laminate (HPL). The designs offered by HPL were (and are) plentiful. They offered a look that simulated the real thing, but at a fraction of the cost. The scratch resistance was great.
All seemed well, until the first customer came down the aisle haphazardly, with their kid tugging on their arm to request a trip to the toy section. And then, bam! It hit it exactly in the right place on the seam. That cart ran right into the brand new fixture that was designed to save money and look great. But now, the fixture was chipped, cracked, not looking quite as new. But, it’ll pass for now. Fast forward a year and take a look at that and all of the other fixtures that have been abused to the point of damaging the brand every time customers see it. Couple that with all of the fixtures that are just too badly beaten to even be seen in the store. They are lined up in the spare warehouse that used to be the garden center before that idea didn’t work out. There in an empty warehouse, lies thousands of dollars in investments, waiting for another several hundred dollar truck ride back to wherever they came from for preparation to sell to the highest bidder and be put into some lower end stores, or bought by a refurbisher and resold.
How could have this been prevented? If only that laminate wasn’t so rigid. If only there was no seam. In comes 3D laminate; it’s a more pliable laminate that can be formed around a smooth wooden core (in most cases, MDF) to eliminate the seam and dramatically improve impact resistance. What’s more, the wide array of design options remains. The texture options are more plentiful. The price point is the same. The amount of impact that would have cracked and chipped that old HPL fixture now only dents the fixture, at best.
So, how does one find this type of fixture? Can my normal fixture manufacturer use your material? In order to take advantage of the ability to go seamless, you just need to find a manufacturer with a vacuum or membrane press. In the U.S. alone, there are over 200 manufacturers with this potential. The material can also be applied to any flat surface to give you the impact resistance you desire on the face of the shelf or fixture; or, it can even be flat-laminated and miter-folded over the edge to eliminate the seam. This means, that most manufacturers can use a 3D laminate in such a way that will make your fixtures more protected from impact resistance.
If you would like more information on 3D laminate specification, designs trending in your market, or for technical data, feel free to reach out to me at 407-654-5013
Color inspiration from around the world, backstories on design inspiration and informative articles about marketing, membrane pressing and personal development. Author Mark Viers delivers fresh content that will help you and your business grow and thrive.
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