How to Handle Problems with High Pressure Laminates?

High Pressure Laminates: Improper Handling Woes

High Pressure Laminates (HPLs) are found in both traditional and novel applications. Some of the most common and recognisable applications of this laminate include façades, exterior claddings, roofs, balconies etc. While the usage of these beautiful laminates is increasing at a fast pace, the pain points make the customers and manufacturers worry. FunderMax is a leader in the industry, and as the #SurfacesReporter’s team interacts with Mr Ashwani Khanna, Head – Marketing, FunderMax, he confirms that the biggest pain point of HPL revolves around handling of the product at the site. This leads to wastages and installation failures. Based on his expertise, he gladly shares a few tips and tricks to avoid such wastages.

Like all popular products, HPLs must also be having some pain points, please share those.

High Pressure Laminates are more than a decade old material in the industry but still, the biggest pain point revolves around handling the product at the site. This can lead to wastages and installation failures. Standard operating procedures must be followed while installation and it should be as specified by the manufacturer or façade consultant, to achieve sustainable façade.   

What are the issues that bother you as a manufacturer? How do you tackle these issues?

As mentioned in the above point, handling of this engineering product has always been challenging. It is extremely important to get the installation method right for the longevity of the façade design. FunderMax exterior grade compact laminates are installed using the rear ventilation principle, as complete systems. There are tailor-made aluminium substructures, brackets and rivets specifically designed for the system installation. The rivets used are imported to ensure the highest quality. FunderMax has tied up with partners with trained fabricators who can handle the installation flawlessly. For any area exposed to the external environment, be it a façade or a soffit (roofing), only exterior grade laminate should be used.

What issues are usually faced by customers? How is Fundermax helping in solving these problems?

Traditionally laminates have always been used for interior applications, and it comes as a surprise for the industry when they find out that we have laminates for exterior applications. Many customers do not know the technical aspects of FunderMax Exterior panels. Lack of awareness and knowledge about technical details of Max Exterior panels makes them apprehensive about their approach towards exterior grade laminates and they tend to go ahead with traditional materials. FunderMax has its own team of highly skilled design experts who guide and address queries of customers. The panels come in various options and offer plenty of design freedom that can give the character of your building. This helps customers in gaining confidence in their choice of material. And our expert sales team who are mainly engineers by qualification and well trained by the company always acts as a consultant for every customer to address their concerns. 

What are the Do’s and Don’ts in the installation of HPLs?

  1. All HPLs must be installed using rear ventilated façade system

  2. The spacing of rivets and sections should follow the structural design

  3. Clearance gap between panels must be maintained

  4. Only exterior grade laminate should be used for any area which is exposed to the external environment (even if the area is under shade)

  5. Minimum 6mm thickness is required for exterior application

What are the Do’s and Don’ts in the maintenance/handling of HPLs?  

  1. Do not clean HPLs with strong acid or alkaline solution. Avoid scouring substances

  2. Clean using light soap solution or plain/warm water only

  3. Do not paint on the panel surface

  4. Do not apply any protective cover on panels

  5. Do not use silicones to cover the gaps

  6. Store the panels by stacking horizontally on flat & stable supports at the site

  7. Use recommended tools for installation

  8. To be stored under normal climatic conditions at the site


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