There are two popular ways to tell if a thermofoil component is manufactured well. The first is the appearance and the second is the adhesion on the edges.
- Telegraphing of the mdf through the film
- visible wrinkles, shadowing, defects
- overstretched corners or whitened corners
- clear bite of the film to the edge of the component. You can tell by a pull test
- adhesion down in raised panel profiles, no bridging
For the sake of this post, I'd like to discuss why and when to do a pull test. Firstly when the heat is activated well the film will stick well to the sides of the components. Examples are below:
Good times to do a fiber pull test are:
- When lowering temps significantly
- When changing film thicknesses more than .1mm
- When adding working with a new vendor
- When adding a protective film
In conclusion, pull tests are great way for manufacturers to spot check their components to better ensure good adhesion on the sides of the components and can be an integral part of QC.
Most designers who went to school were taught that PVC was somehow bad and harmed the environment. Most of this is stemmed by either inferior plastics or by old information that is not up to par with how plastics are made today.
According to the Tarnell Company Recycler survey, One Billion pounds of vinyl is recycled annually within North America, with over 150 million pounds of post-consumer materials, a 40% increase since 2014. In the U.S. most of the 10 billion pounds of vinyl resin produced annually goes into durable goods—approximately 5 billion pounds goes into water infrastructure (large pvc pipes) that is buried underground and has a service life in excess of 100 years—so it doesn’t go into the recycling stream. In addition, less than 3% of all plastics sent to US landfills is PVC
Elimination of Lead and Cadmium:
In the early 1980’s the U.S. and Canadian vinyl industry began a stewardship program aimed at implementing alternative stabilization technology to eliminated the need for stabilizers that contain metals, such as lead or cadmium. This effort was complete for cadmium around the year 2000 and for lead around the year 2006.
28% decrease in dioxin emissions since 2009, which amounts to 3.3% of all government regulated sources . Chlor-vinyl industry dioxin ambient emissions amount to 3.3% of all 2015 regulated sources such as metals, cement, paper, power, wood, oil and chemicals. It should also be noted that most materials including carpet, drapes and even natural wood can release dioxin emissions when on fire.
US and Canadian raw material manufacturers for vinyl resin produce their own chlorine at or near their facilities resulting in minimizing risks associated with chemical transportation, leaks from loading and unloading operations and reducing the industry’s carbon foot print. The US vinyl chloride producers no longer rely on chlorine derived from mercury-cell technology to manufacture PVC resin.
For more information on education of PVCs and vinyls we recommend you to visit
This article is to explain more about the different thicknesses we produce and for what application they are good for.
0.15mm = 6 mil , semi rigid
0.2mm = 8 mil, this thickness and above are rigid
0.25mm= 10 mil
0.3mm= 12 mil
0.4mm= 16 mil
0.5mm= 20 mil
MEMBRANE PRESSING / VACUUM PRESSING: For Solids and Woodgrains, Dackor's 12 mil is most common as it can be membrane pressed by all however some company's even have the expertise to profile wrap as well. When you press, it uses heat and suction to form over the mdf components. This means that the material is pressed into the substrate. By going thicker you are able to hide more imperfections. In addition, by going thicker, deeper embosses can be incorporated for more realistic surfaces. Quality producers know that Dackor has a plethora of thicker materials as well and we do this to enable our customers to have higher quality parts and also to create more realistic woodgrain textures.
PROFILE WRAPPING: When profile wrapping, companies do not experience suction of the material into the mdf so thinner products can be used. The most common sizes are 6 mil and 8 mil. When we produce 6mil we do so with a semi rigid vinyl. This reduces cost but also enables the product to wrap well. Some companies love semi rigid due to its ease of wrapping however semi rigids often are not as strong or durable to scratches and wear. For that reason we offer rigid 8 mil product to enable the material to be thin enough to wrap yet more durable to scratch and more rigid to process.
SEMI RIGID VERSUS RIGID: The best way to describe the difference is that semi rigid feels more like a thin shower curtain that is more flimsy in your hand. This is caused by adding more plasticizers to enable the product to stretch. This also lowers the cost of the product. Rigid, however, uses a very low amount of plasticizers and enables the product to be more rigid. The product still goes on a roll however its really more like a thinner version of membrane press laminate.
FLAT LAMINATION: Companies can flat laminate 12 mil and thicker vinyls however this is typically done with a PUR line or 2 part epoxy. For most flat lamination lines you would utilize a 6 mil or 8 mil. This is personal preference. It should be noted the strengths and weaknesses are that the 6 mil applies more quick and cost less however being thinner it may show more imperfections in the substrate whereas the 8 mil is more rigid. Please note that the heat utilized in processing will be different as well based upon the formulation of rigid versus semi rigid as well as the thickness. If the product is more thick it may take more heat to absorb into the material.
MITER FOLDING: When folding the vinyl becomes a hinge. This means that you are routering a v groove in the back of the part and only kissing the vinyl. When you fold the part you get a crisp edge. One advantage of a rigid vinyl is that when you fold it thermosets better and is less likely to pucker on the edge. So there are some strengths to miter folding a rigid over a semi rigid.
CONCLUSION: Please note that there are so many variables in lamination. There is time, heat, duration, pressure, glue used, board, humidity , user and more. This means that like all professional laminations you really need to test produce product to be sure of the thickness and formulation to be sure more ease of processing.
Although material can weight +/- 10% the below is a rough estimate on how much 3D Laminate weighs per linear meter versus linear yard by thickness when 1420 to 1450mm wide. It is calculate in pounds per linear meter LM or linear yard LY.
Many cabinet door and component producers have asked where they may recycle PVC. As long as your product does not have glue you can visit: scrappvc.com
Richard Silberfeld, President
Ray Brown, VP Sales
Corp. Office Address
97 Sawtooth Cove
Port Jefferson, NY 11777
1510 5th Industrial Court
Bay Shore, NY 11706
Alt. Office: 516-356-5120
Alt. Fax: 631-331-1885
Ideal for thermofoil / membrane press vinyls.
Recently there have been more cabinet companies buying vac-u-clamp machines for the use of making cabinet doors and drawers.
See the pdf version
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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