Laminate is a decorative man-made material that is composed of various layers of a material bonded together by composite materials. The laminate is fixed to a surface to enhance its appearance. The metal laminate sheets are high-pressure laminates which are widely used as decorative laminates for interior designs. The surface of metal laminate sheet can be fabricated into a plethora of designs and textures to elevate the look of a surface and make it eye-catching.
Process of manufacture
The answer to the question how to laminate metal is high pressure lamination. Metal laminates are high-pressure laminates. High-pressure laminate is created by the process as described below.
Several layers of kraft paper are infused with phenolic resin.
A thin sheet of metal is placed over the top of the kraft paper. The difference between metal laminate and traditional laminate is that decor paper is used in the latter.
The metal sheet and the kraft papers are fused with each other under high heat and pressure. The pressure applied is more than 1000 PSI.
The high heat and pressure convert the kraft paper sheets into a single laminated sheet because the phenolic resin turns into plastic by cross linking process. The top metal layer also integrates with the core layers to form a metal laminate sheet.
The decorative metal sheets are usually used to give metallic finished appearance to furniture elements, kitchen countertops, vanities, walls, ceilings, etc. They are available in a plethora of surface finishes.
Solid coloured metal laminates have a single solid colour. For example, metal laminate countertops such as in kitchens are solid coloured metal laminates.
Gloss metal laminates have a very glossy surface finish. They are used to make the furniture pieces in a room all the more appealing. Restaurants, hotels and other commerical establishments commonly use gloss metal laminates for their furniture elements.
Textured metal laminates have patterns on the surface which emulates classic metals. For example, aged brass, hammered copper or brushed stainless steel surface finish. They provide a realistic effect to the furniture, wall or flooring.
Matt finished metal laminates have a flat surface finish which imparts a matt look to the surface. They are suitable for giving stylish looks and are commonly used in business and corporate offices.
Metal laminates can be manufactured using a range of metals. They have been described here.
Aluminium metal laminate sheet provides a shiny metallic lustre to the surface. Aluminium is light in weight which makes it easy to handle and install. Corrosion resistant aluminium metal laminate sheets are widely avaiable in the market. They also come in a host of colours, textures and finishes and can mimic other metals such as gold, chrome, bronze, nickel, copper, etc.
Copper laminates are available in a plethor of unique designs because high malleablity of copper metal enables complex patterns and figures to be carved on it. Copper tends to corrode due to exposure to oxygen and moisture over a period of time. But reputed metal laminate sheet suppliers provide high quality copper laminate sheets which have lacquer surface coatings to resist the corrosion process. Hence, they can also be used outdoors.
Stainless steel laminates are resistant against corrosion and discolouration because of chromium present in them. They are also very easy to clean and maintain. Stainless steel laminates are available in a host of textured and brushed finishes. These laminates are ideal for use in kitchens and commercial places.
Metal laminates are made fire resistant by using special fire resistant resin. Anti-bacterial metal laminates are also available which resist the growth of bacteria.
The metal laminates come with flexible backing for easy installation.