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The way High Pressure Laminates are weaving its way into construction

High Pressure Laminates has several advantages. There are a few pointers to be kept in mind, though

High pressure laminates, Ashwani Khanna, Fundermax India, HPL exterior cladding, RTA flooring

The Indian cladding industry is evolving fast and there is a growing preference for premium quality materials for façade applications.

Growing adoption of RTA flooring and furniture and cabinets will drive decorative laminates market vendor’s sales through the forecast period. Product innovation and new design, increase in construction activities, and changing lifestyles leading to increase demand for modular kitchens and consumer spending on home interiors will drive this market’s growth over the next five years.

The impact of the key challenges such as high competition from unorganised players, availability of substitutes, and infrequent purchase and high average replacement cycle on the market is analysed in detail. These challenges, if all come true during the forecast period, will have a significant negative influence on the market.


Ashwani Khanna.

High pressure laminate (HPL) is a form of decorative laminates in which the layers of Kraft paper impregnated with melamine resin are infused with decorative paper and protective overlay and the resulting laminate is attached to the substrates at high pressures and temperatures. Though the similar process is used to manufacture low pressure laminates, the difference lies in the range of pressure used.

HPL sheet is the ideal product for exterior cladding applications produced under great pressure and high temperature. Hardened resins provide effective weather Protection to the HPL cladding making it capable of withstanding erosion from natural elements. HPL exterior cladding comes with high UV resistance which makes it ideal for buildings requiring ventilated elevation façade cladding & ventilation louvers.

Ashwani Khanna, AVP, marketing, FunderMax India says, “Rear-ventilated façade system is a trending design in facade systems today. Apart from the aesthetical and design possibilities, the architect fraternity values the functional safety provided by the use of rear-ventilated facades. The design freedom offered can give character to buildings by harmonising with its core structure. This can also be easily implemented in combination with various other cladding materials. The structural separation between wall and facade cladding provide a long lasting protection against condensation of water. They considerably reduce the energy consumption. FunderMax Rear Ventilated Façade systems are for people who create. They are extremely robust, have a long useful life, require no maintenance and, in economic terms, are an extremely advantageous solution for increasing the value of a building.”

Meeting all requirements
HPLs can be used for both exteriors and interiors to attain aesthetical as well as functional benefits. As per Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), commercial buildings in India contribute to higher energy consumption than the roads. Hence, it is critical for a building to use sustainable façade solutions, and HPL cladding is one such solution. Moreover, the right façade system can optimise the temperature levels inside a building.

Khanna says, “The comprehensive rear ventilated façade system from FunderMax uses HPL panels. The system installation ensures there is sufficient flow of air behind the cladding and the building is able to sustain a comfortable temperature. It improves the thermal comfort of the occupants and helps reducing power consumption by air conditioners. This unique and innovative façade system by FunderMax ‘The Original’ is compliant with green building codes and is a sustainable model in the long run.”

Double Skin Façade Sun Shading system: This system consists of two skins which are placed in such a manner that there is sufficient air flow in the intermediate cavity. The ventilation within the cavity can either be natural or can be based on the HVAC strategy used for the building. The climatic conditions and location also make an impact.

Khanna has some words of advice for customers using HPL:
Dos
• All HPLs must be installed using rear ventilated façade system
• Spacing of rivets and sections should follow the structural design
• Clearance gap between panels must be maintained
• Only exterior grade laminate should be used for any area which is exposed to external environment (even if the area is under shade)
• Minimum 6mm thickness is required for exterior application
• Install The Original Max Exterior panels for a long lasting and sustainable facade

Don’ts
• Do not clean HPLs with strong acid or alkaline solution. Avoid scouring substances
• Clean using light soap solution or plain/warm water only
• Do not paint on the panel surface
• Do not apply any protective cover on panels
• Do not use silicones to cover the gaps
• Store the panels by stacking horizontally on flat & stable supports at the site
• Use recommended tools for installation
• To be stored under normal climatic conditions at the site.

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