Chemical commodity with excellent handling and molding properties
Due to its particular properties Melamine adds hardness, abrasion resistance, and water-proofing to end products. Melamine produced can be found in multiple industrial applications due to its resistance to chemical, thermal and physical degradation. Melamine powder can easily get combined with other chemical compounds to form melamine resins, which have excellent handling and molding properties. Thus, they are widely used for surface finishing in the automotive, construction and textile industry. Furthermore it is used as an adhesive in the wood industry and in the production of table ware.
Three principal characteristics make melamine chemically unique:
- stability that makes it resistant to chemical, thermal and physical degradation
- structure that allows it to be combined with other chemicals and chemical compounds,
- 66 % nitrogen content that allows it to be considered nitrogen release product which provides excellent fire retardant properties because, when exposed to intense heat, it gives
Wide range of usage possibilities
Global construction and furniture industries rely on melamine resins from the production of wooden boards and laminates to the finishing, painting and coating surfaces. Ferrostaal makes an important contribution to the melamine industry.
Characteristics of melamine
Melamine resins are resistant to UV light, fire, water, impact and scratches and are thus they are suitable for a wide range of surface finishes. Almost all (95%) of the globally produced melamine is used in the manufacturing of melamine resins. Laminate and adhesive industries are the two major consumers of melamine resins with 30% and 49 % of total production respectively.
Melamine resins for laminates
Laminates have a wide application in our every day lives. Kitchen and bathroom countertops, furniture, wall cladding and laminate floor are examples of our reliance on melamine resins.
Usage for adhesives
Adhesives are not only intensively used by the wood industry in construction and furniture manufacture but also as binder for glass fibers, filter, etc. Melamine resins grant plywood, particleboards and fiberboards chemical and mechanical resistance, which save hardwood and allow the use of more renewable wooden feedstock.
Production process for melamine
Melamine is manufactured and marketed as fine, white, powdered crystals. It is very stable at ambient conditions and it is considered non-hazardous material.
Integration within AUM complex
Melamine is produced through trimerization of urea. Melamine plants can be an integral part of an AUM complex, so that the carbon dioxide and ammonia obtained as co-products in the melamine process are recycled as raw materials for the urea plant, therefore improving the yield and economics of the processes.
Melamine resins are manufactured by polycondensation of melamine with formaldehyde, (MF) or also with urea (MUF), under heat and pressure. The substances begin to polymerize and are forced into a mold which will create the desired shape. Under pressure, melamine releases water, which could make the plastic unstable if not removed. The materials finish polymerizing and create the final product, melamine resin.
Demand for melamine is constantly rising
World consumption for melamine is expected to be robust in the following years; average annual growth is expected to be 3-5% in most regions. China, Central and South America, the Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe are expected to exhibit rapid demand growth.