By Abhijit Phadke
Most of the top laminate brands in India conform to the Indian standards that are set by BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) and which are specified in detail in the Indian Standard document numbered IS: 2046 -1995. Several Indian laminate companies also export their products to other countries and conform to international standards such as the British Standard specifications for laminates.
Quality Tests carried out on laminates:
In accordance with the Indian standards specification IS 2046 for HPDL (High Pressure Decorative Laminates), tests are conducted on samples of finished laminate sheets, and the results are checked for conformance to acceptable values. These tests are primarily intended to check the resistance of the finished laminates to externally induced adverse conditions, as also judge the quality of the sheets based on appearance, and dimensional stability.
List of Quality Tests:
Decorative Laminates are most commonly used as an overlay over wooden substrates such as plywood, particle boards or MDF. The laminates should be good enough to protect the wood and hence should have high resistance to common furniture problems such as scratching and stains. All these tests are designed to check the strength of the laminate and its resistive properties in tough conditions.
The laminate sheet should not vary too much in size when the temperature changes. The sheets should retain their original dimensions to a good extent. Tests are carried out to check the dimensions of the sheet at a temperature of 20 degree centigrade, and at deviated temperatures.
Appearance is a crucial aspect of decorative laminates, not in the sense of designs or patterns used, but that the laminate sheet should be free of any foreign particles.