Phenolic Panels: What They Are & Why You Need Them
The market for phenolic panels is growing. Industries such as construction, marine, transportation, aerospace and defense are turning to high pressure laminate panels for durability and high quality.
In making the choices for your project, it first makes sense to understand what phenolic panels are and why you need them.
Phenolic panels are highly resistant architectural panels made of natural core material layers and thermosetting resins, manufactured under high pressure and temperature.
According to Research and Markets, “The global phenolic panel market size is projected to grow from USD 1.7 billion in 2020 to USD 2.4 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period,”
The research firm also found:
- Construction is the fastest-growing end-use industry of phenolic panels in terms of value
- Interior application is the largest segment of the market in terms of value
- Sandwich type is the fastest-growing application segment of phenolic panels in terms of value
- Class A phenolic panel is the fastest-growing segment of the phenolic panel market in terms of value
- North America is the fastest-growing phenolic panel market
Fundermax is a leading manufacturer of phenolic, also known as high pressure laminate (HPL), panels.
How Are Phenolic Panels Made?
The Fundermax panel manufacturing process begins with natural cellulose fiber consisting primarily of wood that has been processed into “kraft paper.” We source these raw materials from vendors certified according to Forest Stewardship Council standards (FSC) or PEFC™.
Then, a proprietary synthetic polymer (phenolic resin) is added to the kraft paper layers and is cured under high heat and pressure to create the panel core. The process can also be replicated to provide a wide range of panel decors and finishes.
The question remains, though, why are these phenolic panels in such high demand? Let’s consider the many benefits of these highly weather resistant, durable and sustainable panels.
What Are The Benefits of Phenolic Panels
Fundermax phenolic panels do not contain organic halogen (or chlorine, fluorine, bromine, etc.) compounds, which are found in greenhouse gases, or PVC. They contain neither asbestos nor wood protection agents (fungicides, pesticides, etc.), and are free from sulfur, mercury and cadmium.
Because they are non-porous, the HPL phenolic panels are moisture resistant and well suited for any applications where they are in contact with water or steam.
In a humid weather environment, they are a good architectural choice for rainscreen facades and cladding. They are also a good option for interior applications where they are exposed to high levels of humidity, such as in washrooms.
The panels are also ideal in places where they are in permanent contact with any solvents or chemicals, such as lab worktops or other lab surfaces.
Another good reason for using them in a laboratory setting? The panels are also anti-microbial.
Phenolic panel non-porosity also makes them graffiti resistant, very easy to clean, and are resistant to UV rays, preventing the panels from fading in color. They are suitable in extreme weather conditions and can tolerate a temperature range from -112F to +356F.
The reinforced strength of the phenolic panels makes them very easy to fabricate and easy to install, by using different fastening types. It also makes them resistant to scratches and impacts.
Fundermax also has created HPL phenolic panels that are fire resistant and flame-retardant, in compliance with NFPA 285, with a noncombustible panel option for higher demands.
What Types of Applications Should You Use Phenolic Panels For?
Durable, high-quality HPL phenolic panels are well suited for a number of interior and exterior applications.
The panels are an excellent option for rainscreen façades, where they help create a durable and energy-saving envelope for the building with an aesthetically pleasing design. Phenolic panels can also be used for soffits, balconies, signage, deck flooring, furniture and many other exterior applications.
For interior use, they are a very good choice for wall lining, bathrooms, lockers, lab work surfaces, furniture and other interior applications.
Meeting such a broad range of application needs, phenolic panels are gaining ground in various industries such as education, healthcare, residential and mixed use, office, transportation, lab, government and many more. The many benefits are clear.
Identified by Markets and Research as one of the industry’s key players, Fundermax has an extensive history providing creative and technical components offering positive change in the way exterior and interior structures are designed and built.