The top layer of a typical high pressure floor laminate (HPL) consists of a melamine formaldehyde (MF) impregnated special wear layer (overlay) with alumina particles. This top layer plays a crucial role in determining the mechanical properties of the laminate. For HPLs, scratch resistance and scratch visibility are particularly important properties. This study aimed to improve the mechanical properties, particularly the scratch resistance, by adjusting the composition of the overlay. Laminates containing alumina particles were prepared and tested. These alumina particles were additionally functionalized with a silane coupling agent to ensure better adhesion between the particles and the resin. The functionalized particles led to enhanced scratch resistance of the laminates as well as improved dispersion of the particles within the resin. Micro scratch testing revealed that by using functionalized particles, the scratch surface damage was reduced and the recovery characteristics of the surface layer were improved. Higher scratch resistance and scratch hardness were thus obtained, along with a reduced scratch visibility.
More information: Coatings 2018, 8(6), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings8060224