The HPL plastic laminate

Testo di Tiziana D'Amico

HPL plastic laminate is a coating material with surprising strength properties and composed of 70% kraft paper.

The HPL (High Pressure Laminate) plastic laminate is mainly a coating material for wooden surfaces, although it can have - in higher thicknesses - a self-supporting function. It is a material with multiple aesthetic possibilities and excellent technical properties.

But how is it made? HPL consists of the layering of kraft paper impregnated with phenolic resin between two decorative sheets soaked in melamine resin. The whole is then soaked in thermosetting resins and subjected to pressure.

The percentage of kraft paper contained in HPL is surprisingly high, of 70% . When this paper is combined with resins, it closes its pores and acquires new and unexpected properties of resistance.

Specifically? It is resistant to scratches, abrasions, bumps and wear and in fact it is destined to last over time , to be handed down from generation to generation. It is also fireproof, versatile in cutting and absolutely easy to clean and maintain.

For all this series of characteristics, plastic laminate is a material that is currently very widespread in the field of furniture and design. It was in use in Italy since the 1960s, but Ettore Sottsass to fully explore its potential in the field of design - effectively clearing its use in all respects - was Ettore Sottsass , '70 and '80, first through the experiences of Alchimia and then of the Memphis group. Precious in this sense was his collaboration with Abet Laminati which has excellently succeeded in indulging and supporting the designer's emblematic chromatic research with its products.

Ettore Sottsass's bookcase covered with laminate Abet