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Improving hydrophobic and oleophobic performances of high-pressure laminates

Henriques, Ana, Almeida, Margarida, Paiva, Nádia, Ferra, João, Martins, Jorge, Carvalho, Luísa, Magalhães, Fernão D.
European journal of wood and wood products 2018 v.76 no.6 pp. 1685-1695
additives, chemical composition, contact angle, hydrophobicity, liquids, paper, perfluorocarbons, staining
High-pressure laminates are decorative materials that are widely used in furnishing and building industries. One of their major handicaps, especially in the case of high gloss laminates, is the ease of staining by fingerprints. This problem can a priori be minimized by increasing the hydrophobicity and oleophobicity of the surface. To improve hydrophobicity, the chemical composition of the resin used for impregnation of the laminate’s top layer decorative paper was modified. A melamine-benzoguanamine-formaldehyde resin was used as starting point, and caprinoguanamine was added as a comonomer at different stages of the synthesis. Addition at the end of the synthesis process showed to be the most promising approach for achieving a water contact angle of 91.2°, while the contact angle for a commercial laminate, impregnated with a standard melamine–formaldehyde resin, is 58°. Regarding oleophobicity, several commercial additives were tested with the previously formulated resin. A fluorocarbon additive showed the best result, leading to contact angles of 114° for water and 76° for an artificial fingerprint liquid. In addition, it was shown that fingerprints were easier to clean from the modified laminate surface.