As society and the economy grew, the demand for furniture grew exponentially. Using solid pieces of wood was either prohibited or expensive, so furniture manufacturers started developing engineered boards to reduce cost and maintain a balanced eco system.
While making furniture, the boards used are engineered, meaning they go through different processes to make the final board and the edges of the boards are usually left open for further production. Leaving the edges of the board uncovered can be harmful to the furniture as damages could occur from water, insects and various other elements which makes its way to the edge of the board.
With this in mind, manufacturers of boards have researched and developed several edge band technologies to help preserve and protect the life of the furniture.
In this article, we’re going to look at some interesting facts about edge band technology, the types and the best adhesives used to help you select the right edge band for your furniture.
What is an Edge Band?
Edge bands are thin strips of wood, PVC or resinous materials used to cover the raw edges of high density water resistant particle board, MDF or Marine Ply boards to ensure the boards are protected.
Types of Edge bands.
Now that you have an idea about edge band, you should also know that edge bands can be made from different materials such as PVC, ABS, melamine, wood or wood veneer.
Poly Vinyl Chloride also known as PVC is the most produced and least expensive plastic on earth which can be recycled making it one of the green edge bands in the market.
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene also known as ABS is a thermo-plastic polymer that reacts well to heat and can also be recycled.
Melamine is special paper that is saturated and covered with lacquer. The addition of lacquer gives resistance to the paper and although it is resistant, melamine is still a paper and prone to damages.
Wood or Wood veneers are made from thin slices of wood, pre-sanded and are layered. Keep in mind that this is wood and it can shrink or change forms in different climatic conditions.
Types of adhesives
While the edge band is necessary, the crucial part is the kind of adhesives which are used for edge bands. If the adhesive is of low quality, the edge band will not be durable and will lead to the edge band falling off. Here are some of the types of adhesives available.
Hot Melting Glues
Most edge banding is done with hot melting glues. The two common choices are Ethylene Vinyl Acetate known as EVA and Polyurethane known as PUR.
EVA can be used on different edge band materials including PVC, melamine, ABS, Acrylic and wood veneers. The glue can be repeatedly re-melted and this means that it can be sensitive to high temperatures so it’s best not to use this glue for furniture sold in places with high humidity.
PUR is a hot melt glue that hardens when dry and cannot be re-melted. The glue creates a bond that is highly resistant to moisture and air and be can heated up to 150 degrees. PUR bonds by moisture cure meaning the glue hardens when it comes in contact with moisture or air making it the best option for furniture.
Low Melting Glues
As the name suggests, these low melting adhesives work at lower heating temperatures. They’re great for working on softer materials such as foam or polystyrene and are not a recommended option to use for edge banding due to its low strength capacity.
Contact adhesives known as contact cement are rubber based, fast acting glues that create a strong flexible bond with non-porous materials. It can be used for gluing large surfaces such as counter tops in kitchens and bathrooms.
With trend and sales of engineered boards in the market, the demand for high quality edge bands is on the rise. Selecting the right material for edge band and the right adhesive goes a long way in protecting the life of your furniture. It is essential to decide if cost is a factor in deciding the type of furniture or if you are interested in a product that will last a life time and give you less trouble along the way.
Do you have edge banding at your home too? Do let us know how it benefits you in the comment section below.